Unmodified Windows PC games could be coming to Google Stadia
Google Stadia could soon be home to unmodified PC games, if a session at the upcoming Google for Games Development Summit is any indication. A session listed for the event is called “How to write a Windows emulator for Linux from scratch?” and it’s meant to highlight how Google managed to do exactly that.
Stadia is a cloud-based gaming platform, and at its heart are powerful servers, which are Linux-based. Thus, while performance limitations aren’t exactly a hurdle, getting PC games to run on Stadia isn’t as easy as it may seem. That’s why the library of games available on Stadia is small when you consider how many PC games are out there.
This session indicates that Google has figured out how to run Windows games on Linux without modifying them, all thanks to emulation. In theory, that should mean any Windows game could technically appear on Stadia.
The way the session is described raises some questions, however. Here’s what it says:
Detailed overview of the technology behind Google’s solution for running unmodified Windows games on Stadia. This is a deep technical walkthrough of some of the core concepts with the goal to allow curious programmers to better understand such technologies and potentially to build their own.
If Google has figured out a way for Windows games to run on Linux, and thus, on Stadia, it’s odd that it would share technical details of that solution instead of just making it available for developers to use at will. Plus, the description states that developers can “potentially build their own” solution based on this knowledge. This could mean that Google instead intends on letting developers create their own emulation tools in order to bring games over to Stadia. This could also be part of the plan to sell Stadia as a service to partners, giving them the tools needed to make games available through the cloud with minimal effort.
On the other hand, this knowledge could make it easier for Linux fans to make Windows games playable on their preferred OS. That could even include Chrome OS, seeing as that’s also based on Linux. The session will be available on March 15th, so we’ll know soon enough if Google has any tangible plans to bring Windows games to Stadia or not.
With the Steam Deck also recently launching with a Linux-based OS preinstalled, it looks like gaming on Linux could be experiencing significant growth in the near future.