🌅 Good day, and good middle of the week! If you stand on your tiptoes, you can see the weekend looming on the horizon. It’s not really true, but it’s a great stretch.
Continuing, Google has been at the center of the news cycle this month with its long-awaited launches of the Pixel 7 series and Pixel Watch. However, our main story today is a rather surprising announcement from Mountain View that few would have predicted just a few weeks ago. Ready to play?
Introducing Gaming Chromebooks
Google’s latest gaming push
- At the end of September, Google announced the death of its Stadia cloud gaming service. (If you haven’t already, you should probably ask for a refund as well).
- That seemed to mark the end of Google’s gaming push, as you well know.
- But that was not the case at all.
- The company this week named Chromebooks and Chrome OS as its new gaming-centric platform.
- According to Google, Acer, Asus and Lenovo have announced the world’s first laptops explicitly designed for cloud gaming.
- The notebooks look pretty good on paper.
- The Acer Chromebook 516 GE sports a 120Hz display with an RGB keyboard and 8GB of RAM.
- The Asus Vibe CX55 Flip Chromebook packs a 144Hz display into a convertible form factor.
- Finally, the Lenovo Ideapad Gaming Chromebook has a 120Hz display with a quad-speaker system.
- Nvidia is also involved in bringing its Geforce Now RTX 3080 tier to Chromebooks, enabling gameplay up to 1600p resolution at 120Hz.
- Microsoft Xbox Cloud Gaming beta and Amazon Luna are both supported.
- Google’s “All” button will also make it easier to find and play games without having to install it first.
So what is Google’s endgame?
- Chromebooks aren’t synonymous with gaming, but it’s clear that Google is doing everything it can to make this connection a success.
- Unlike Stadia, gaming Chromebooks are unlikely to be killed by their creators.
- Google seems particularly reluctant to support long-term hardware and services, but by selling cloud gaming on Chromebooks, all Google has to do is maintain Chrome OS.
- The convenience factor, integration with multiple gaming services, overall Chromebook usefulness, and high-end hardware should make these machines an attractive prospect for some.
- Gaming on Chromebooks may not see the mainstream appeal of Windows machines, but curiously Google continues to see the potential for cloud gaming on a platform it created.
- New gaming Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, and Lenovo will launch later this month, with prices ranging from $399 to $799.
Wacky Wednesday: Drama of the Week Fat Bear
🐻 You may remember last week we mentioned Fat Bear Week, the annual tradition in Katmai National Park, Alaska, which encourages people to vote for the bears they think have taken the most weight throughout the season. For bears, fat storage is essential for hibernation, and Fat Bear Week helps the National Parks Service (NPS) 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 a particular fight.
- 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 time, leading organizers to reject those votes.
- In the end, 747 took the win.
- Craziest thing? Someone has created “many fake email addresses” from various IP addresses. It was a coordinated effort to rig the result. Why? People are clearly in love with their favorite bear or just plain bored.
- Overall, no harm came from the effort, and all bears are winners in our eyes.
- 747, not at all fazed by the scandal, continued its run of form, beat 901 in the last heavyweight fight.
Follow Katmai National Park on Twitter for the latest Fat Bear news of the week.