Google’s Pixel Tablet Could be a Great Device for Cloud Gaming

Pixel Tablet

Google has officially left the cloud gaming scene itself with the death of Stadia, but it still has a large consumer technology presence via its Android, Chrome/ChromeOS and its Nest ecosystems.

It was (ironically) not long after the announcement of the shutdown of Stadia that the company announced a line of gaming focused Chromebooks that actually make pretty great cloud gaming devices.

Google is now back at it, today, with another consumer device that we think could make a great device for cloud gaming! The Pixel Tablet is poised to bring Cloud Gaming to a new device category.

Background: Google Nest

The Google Home and Google Nest line of smart speakers and smart displays have been a wild success. Originally launched back in late 2016, sales of the series were already at 52 million units in 2018! It’s likely that 10+ million Nest Hub smart displays (two generations and the larger Max version) alone are sitting in kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms throughout the world.

Nest Hub Gen 2
Nest Hub

When Stadia launched in late 2019, we immediately wished the service, as well as other cloud gaming services, supported the Nest Hub. It would be awesome to get in a round or two of PUBG while hanging out in the kitchen waiting for the water to boil or the oven to pre-heat. However, that support never came (officially at least).

The Amazon Echo Show smart display is similarly limited (again officially at least – your mileage may vary trying to get things working via the silk browser).

The Nest Hub devices couldn’t ever really install sophisticated applications because they ran CastOS (which incidentally is now based on Google’s Fuschia kernel) and didn’t officially support Bluetooth controllers.

It’s now 2023, however, and it appears that Google has decided that these devices can indeed use some better specs and full tablet functionality.

Enter the Pixel Tablet

Today, Google announced the Pixel Tablet – which plays a dual role as a traditional tablet as well as a smart display. The best way to describe it would be as a Next Hub Max whose screen detaches from its speaker base to become a bonafide Android tablet of its own.

Pixel Tablet Undocking

While docked and locked, the tablet acts like a Nest Hub, but, unlock it, and you have the full power of the Android OS at your finger tips. This means you should get access to all your favorite cloud gaming applications from the Google Play Store – no hacks required!

  • Xbox Game Pass
  • GeForce NOW
  • Boosteroid
  • Blacknut
  • Utomik
  • Amazon Luna (PWA)

Plus more gaming apps. These are all playable on an 11in 2560×1600 display.

And, of course, you can take the tablet with you to play on the road. It comes with a nifty but not totally unique case with a stand.

Pixel Tablet Case Stand

Going to Pick One Up?

The main drawback of the device? The entire package costs $499 – which is ~5x the cost of the small form factor Nest Hub. That also makes it more expensive than an Xbox Series X!

We’ll definitely give this device the full review treatment when it releases. What do you all think? Have you been waiting for a Nest Hub or Amazon Echo Show with official cloud gaming capability?

Whether the price point fits your budget or not, it’s nice to see cloud gaming officially expanding to another device category.


Jack Deslippe

Jack Deslippe is an HPC professional with a PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. As a hobby, he is passionate about consumer technology and Cloud Gaming in particular. He volunteers as an editor for Cloud Dosage in his spare time. See the games Jack is Playing at ExoPhase. Like his content? You can follow Jack on Threads: @jackdeslippe and Buy Jack a Beer.

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