YouTube Playables will reportedly be the company's succeeding streaming platform after the failure of Google Stadia, which shut down entirely earlier this year. The report of YouTube Playables' existence comes from the Wall Street Journal, which cites an internal email sent out to Google employees.
According to the report, YouTube Playables will allow users to stream games via the popular video platform on mobile and PC, much like Xbox Cloud Gaming or Nvidia GeForce Now. And if the company is reusing much of the code it developed for Stadia, there's a likelihood the service will work through the Google Chrome browser or a Chromecast device, too.
That said, it's yet unclear as to what kinds of games will be hosted on the YouTube Playables service. The name suggests more bite-sized, potentially bespoke experiences unlike the full games available to stream via Google Stadia. That'll make Playables similar to Discord's Activities which can be played via voice call.
And that might be the smarter move here. Google wasn't able to keep the momentum going with Stadia, which had a library largely similar to other streaming platforms including Amazon Luna and the previously mentioned Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Playables' business model also isn't known at this point. You'd think the smart play would be to add it to the YouTube Premium subscription's various benefits, which also includes YouTube Music and ad-free viewing among other perks.
Ultimately, YouTube Playables doesn't sound like it'll shake up the streaming landscape too much, but if Google can provide a service filled with titles you can't play anywhere else, like Apple Arcade, it could succeed where Stadia didn't.
YouTube Playables will signal another push into a fully digital gaming landscape, similar to Bethesda, who seemed to let slip that Starfield's physical editions will not include "physical discs" to the ire of many.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.