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Daily Authority: 🕹️ Google's still playing games

Google's stepping up its cloud gaming efforts without Stadia, and more on the Fat Bear Week scandal that rocked the internet.
By
October 12, 2022
Three gaming laptops
Google

🌅 Good day, and happy midweek! If you stand on the tips of your toes, you can see the weekend peeking over the horizon. That’s not actually true, but it makes for a great stretch.

Moving along, Google’s been at the center of the news cycle this month with its long-awaited Pixel 7 series and Pixel Watch launches. However, our main story today is a rather surprising announcement from Mountain View that few would’ve predicted just a few weeks ago. Ready to game?

Introducing gaming Chromebooks

Acer Chromebook 516 GE

Google’s latest gaming push

  • At the end of September, Google announced the death of its cloud gaming service Stadia. (If you haven’t yet, you should probably request a refund too).
  • This seemed to mark the end of Google’s gaming push as well know it.
  • But that wasn’t the case at all.
  • The company earmarked Chromebooks and Chrome OS this week as its new gaming-centric platform.
  • According to Google, Acer, Asus, and Lenovo announced the world’s first laptops explicitly built for cloud gaming.

The specs

  • The notebooks look pretty good on paper.
  • The Acer Chromebook 516 GE sports a 120Hz display with an RGB keyboard and 8GB of RAM.
  • Asus’ Chromebook Vibe CX55 Flip crams a 144Hz screen into a convertible form factor.
  • Finally, the Lenovo Ideapad Gaming Chromebook features a 120Hz screen with a quad-speaker system.
  • Nvidia is also involved in bringing its Geforce Now RTX 3080 tier to the Chromebooks, allowing gameplay up to 1,600p resolution at 120Hz.
  • Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming beta and Amazon Luna are both supported.
  • Google’s “Everything” button will also make it a little easier to search for and run games without the need to install it first.

So what’s Google’s endgame?

  • Chromebooks aren’t synonymous with gaming, but it’s clear Google’s doing everything it can to make this connection a success.
  • Unlike Stadia, gaming Chromebooks probably won’t be killed by their creators.
  • Google seems particularly averse to supporting hardware and services long-term, but by selling cloud gaming on Chromebooks, all Google has to do is maintain Chrome OS.
  • The convenience factor, integration with multiple gaming services, the overall utility of Chromebooks, and higher-end hardware should make these machines an interesting prospect for some.
  • Gaming on Chromebooks may not see the widespread mass appeal of Windows machines, but intriguingly, Google continues to see potential in cloud gaming on a platform it created.
  • Acer, Asus, and Lenovo’s new gaming Chromebooks will launch later this month, with prices ranging from $399 to $799.

Roundup

🤔 Can’t decide between the Google Pixel 7 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro? We may be able to help (Android Authority).

👀  Today’s the last day of Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale. Grab these incredible offers before time runs out (Android Authority).

😎 Meta announced the Quest Pro, its new premium VR headset, and it’s anything but affordable (Android Authority).

🌹 Some sad entertainment news today. Angela Lansbury, Oscar nominee and the star of Murder, She Wrote, has died five days short of her 97th birthday (Deadline).

🎥 Add these to your watch list: What’s a movie that bombed at the box office but was actually good? (r/askreddit).

🔥 And this thread might save your life: What’s some basic knowledge that a scary amount of people don’t know? (r/askreddit).

Wacky Wednesday: Fat Bear Week drama

🐻 You might remember last week we mentioned Fat Bear Week, the annual Katmai National Park, Alaska tradition that encourages internet users to vote on which bears they think gained the most weight throughout the season. For bears, storing fat is essential for hibernation, and Fat Bear Week allows the National Parks Service (NPS) to educate the public about the animals.

While the March Madness-like bracket system is supposed to be free and fair, someone tried to rig the results of one particular bout.

  • The bears named 435 (affectionately named Holly) and 747 faced off on Sunday, but the results were marred by scandal.
  • According to Katmai National Park, someone had spammed votes in favor of Holly.
  • The bear reportedly received 9,000 votes in a short period, which led the organizers to discard these votes.
  • Ultimately, 747 was awarded the win.
  • The craziest thing? Someone created “many fake email addresses” from various IP addresses. This was a coordinated effort to rig the result. Why? People are clearly passionate about their favorite bear or just really bored.
  • All in all, no harm came from the effort, and all bears are winners in our eyes.
  • 747, not fazed by the scandal in the slightest, has continued his run of form, beating 901 in the latest heavyweight bout.

Follow Katmai National Park on Twitter for the latest Fat Bear Week news.

Have a great day,

Andy Walker, Editor.