While question marks and doom do unfortunately surround the cloud gaming platform at the moment, Google will be hoping for big growth after confirming that all new Chromebooks will come with Stadia pre-installed.

A recent Tweet from the official Made by Google account effectively confirmed that “Chromebooks now come with Google Stadia already installed,” something our team has been tracking since last year. This is a huge move given the recent high-profile closure of the first-party Stadia Games and Entertainment.

Another big notable here is that Stadia isn’t technically pre-installed or installed on new Chromebooks in the “traditional” sense. Instead, it’s just a link to the Stadia website or homepage. This Progressive Web App or PWA approach means that the experience differs ever-so-slightly from the native Android app that is available separately from the Google Play Store.

Effectively, this just means that all new Chromebooks will come with a hyperlink or web-shortcut to the main Stadia site pre-installed upon first launch. Given the explosion of Chrome OS and Chromebooks over the past 18 months — much of which is owed to the COVID-19 pandemic — this could see a big Stadia player base increase in the coming months. With many schools issuing Chromebooks for at-home-learning, gaming becomes a real possibility without the needed internals.

On top of this, when you pick up a new Chromebook, Google already offers three months of Stadia Pro free. It’s not hard to see a big uptick in new buyers at least trialing the cloud gaming service, especially as big titles like Cyberpunk 2077 can be arguably best experienced on Stadia.

As a method of discovery for Stadia, having a link to the service pre-installed might push curious new Chromebook owners to see just where it takes them. Given that the actual marketing and PR has been mixed at best, this might prove to be the best way to get new gamers to at least test out the platform.

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About the Author

Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com