While Chromebooks aren’t typically equipped for gaming, Google Stadia‘s innovative cloud gaming system means you can fire up games on fairly basic machines.
Can I play Google Stadia on my Chromebook?
The short answer is yes, but there’s a price tag attached, at least for now.
All you really need is Chrome OS, which all Chromebooks have as standard, and a Stadia membership. However, it’s currently impossible to sign up for Stadia without buying the Premiere Edition, which includes a Chromecast and Stadia controller. So, even if you just want to play using keyboard and mouse, you will have to pay for the extra kit.
Currently the package is priced at £119. Compared to console prices, this is pretty cheap, but bear in mind you’ll also need to purchase games from the Stadia store, which isn’t exactly known for low prices…
However, a ‘Stadia Base’ package is reportedly coming later this year. Phil Harrison told Protocol that there are plans to give gamers access with “no money down, without having to put a box in your home, you can just click and play amazing games straight from our data centre”.
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The Stadia website emphasises the fact that Stadia is meant to be played on any machine, including laptops and Chromebooks. It says:
“There’s no longer any need to spend money on the latest hardware. With Stadia, you get up to 4K 60 FPS gameplay on TVs without the hassle of time‑consuming game downloads or in‑game updates. And you can take your favourite games with you on your laptop, tablet or phone, as long as you have Wi‑Fi.”
Basically, cloud game streaming sees all the heavy-lifting – that would normally have to be done by a high-spec gaming PC – done elsewhere. You’ll need a good internet connection though, so your Chromebook can outsource the computing to Google’s servers elsewhere.
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When we got our hands on Stadia we were impressed with some aspects of the gaming platform. However, one or two teething problems remain, which means we gave the game a three-and-a-half-star rating.
We wrote: “Google Stadia’s cloud-streaming service shows a lot of promise, and could be a great option for those who want to game without spending a fortune on a console. But with lots of missing features at launch, Stadia has a long way to go to become a serious challenger to PlayStation and Xbox.”