The era of Stadia has officially come and gone with Google’s experiment into a completely cloud-based service now relegated to a footnote of gaming history. What exactly caused its downfall would be a long discussion, although it’s generally agreed that it was simply too much too fast with just too much ambition.

The big question, though, is whether this is the end of Google’s movement towards console gaming entirely, or whether there’s still room for the giant company to enter the market again.

Plenty of Resources

If there’s one thing that Google doesn’t lack, it’s the funds and manpower needed to get something like a gaming console off the ground. In 2021, they reported that their annual revenue reached $250 billion and they have an employee count of over 130,000.

In the same vein, they have some of the most technically gifted engineers and developers in the world employed in their company.

One of the things that hindered Stadia was the lack of any big-name exclusive titles, in the same way that Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo typically have. There was no Halo or Zelda, for example, to be a big enough draw to the system and justify players taking a risk on the unknown technology.

However, with the current trend of major corporations picking up game developers, there is absolutely the option for Google to acquire a well-known studio and produce their own AAA franchise to run with. There would even be an option to work with other companies trying to get into gaming like Amazon, who have likewise had a struggling start, considering that Google’s brand, while damaged in the gaming world, is still big enough to ensure they find partners. 

What It Might Look Like

It’s safe to assume that the fully cloud-based gaming model is unlikely to be resurrected in the near future. Stadia was already a dicey prospect to rely on unbroken internet connections and high-speed internet worldwide, and when it collapsed it likely took the whole concept with it for now.

It is much more likely to be a physical console on the lines of an Xbox or Playstation, although there’s a strong case for making a Switch-like machine given another of the unique assets that Google has: the Play Store.

Photo by Enrique Vidal Flores on Unsplash

Now understandably, much of the Google Play store wouldn’t be much of a draw for a fully-fledged gaming console; however, it could give added value on top of a regular game library. In fact, extra services and capabilities should be a major selling point for a portable Google system, and it could include a huge range of features.

For instance, a more adult-centered version of a Switch could allow things like online gambling software or integrations, and allow their players to enjoy the best online gambling in Canada, the U.S., or anywhere else in the world where it’s allowed. Slot games, live casino, or blackjack games would certainly be unique amongst consoles. They would also provide an alternative to using these sites on smaller smartphone screens.

When Could We See Another Google Console?

Despite the options available to them, it would be understandable if Google and their shareholders would be a little hesitant about another gaming project at this point. Stadia proved to be such an unmitigated failure that the shadow of it will linger for a while, as the Dreamcast does for Sega even a couple of decades on.

The short answer, in that case, is that we won’t likely be seeing anything any time soon. However, if any company out there would have what it takes to get involved in an already-packed gaming market, it would definitely be Google.