In the midst of Google I/O today and the plethora of Pixel product announcements, the Google Store has removed its dedicated “Gaming” tab, effectively burying Stadia listings in an effort to highlight the Pixel Buds Pro.
The Google Store, prior to today and as we captured as recently as April 19, featured seven categories along its top bar for smartphones, watches, smart home products, laptops, subscriptions, offers, and in the middle of it all, gaming. The gaming section was first added in 2020 to house hardware related to Google’s cloud gaming service, Stadia.
While the Google Store’s design has changed on multiple occasions over the past couple of years, the “Gaming” section remained intact and usually visible at a high level. But as of today, Google has replaced “Gaming” with a new “Earbuds” category. This is due to the company’s announcement of the Pixel Buds Pro, which act as a flagship audio product and will be released in July.
This is certainly a sensible decision, but it does effectively bury Google Stadia in the Store. Stadia is now visible under the “Smart Home” category, with a “Gaming” section within that which houses the “overview” page for Stadia that links out to the Stadia Controller, bundle with the Chromecast with Google TV, as well as the Chromecast’s Ethernet adapter and the Power Support Claw accessory.
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