YouTube kickstarts public test for playable games on desktop and mobile

YouTube on Pixel 7 Pro
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube has started its public playtest of its cloud gaming service "Playables."
  • While testing access rolls out to a limited group of users, Playables can be accessed on desktop and mobile.
  • Google's first attempts at a cloud gaming platform came via Stadia which bowed out earlier this year.

It looks like YouTube is starting to dip a toe into the gaming space in a way that isn't confined to livestreaming or watching videos.

YouTube has updated its list of existing platform experiments to mention the start of its "Playables" test (via 9to5Google). The blurb explains that Playables "are games that can be played directly on YouTube on both desktop and mobile devices." With the test only just beginning, it won't be available to every member of the public as the service states a limited number will gain access for now.

Users who may have been selected by the streaming service should begin noticing a Playables section beside typical content on the homepage. The test has already begun, so lucky participants may begin seeing the feature appear as we near the end of the week.

YouTube offers some control in the test, adding that testers can "view and control" their Playables history and saved game data through YouTube History. 

YouTube's Playables were first discussed back in June as it was reported that employees were conducting some internal tests of the feature. One of the games involved initially was Stack Bounce, a game where users would bounce a ball to destroy bricks (and a favorite to play on the Motorola Razr Plus cover screen).

It was also noted that Google's newfound interest in pursuing gaming was seemingly due to its decline in advertising spending.

Many will remember that Google's first steps into cloud gaming came via Stadia, though the company chucked it to the wayside earlier this year. With the company's plan to roll back into cloud gaming coming into view, it makes one wonder how much success it foresees. The easiest comparison would be Netflix Games, which at one point only saw user engagement at less than 1% of its total subscriber base.

Another thing to consider is that Google has yet to specify what sort of games users can expect through Playables. For instance, Stack Bounce is a very simple mobile game — and that sort of game may not attract a large portion of the gamers watching content on the platform already.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.

  • fuzzylumpkin
    I'm sure that with what happened with Stadia, people will be queueing round the proverbial corner to try this out!