Android Update

Nest Wifi series loses ‘Gaming preferred’ toggle as Stadia shuts down

Google’s line of Nest Wifi routers have lost a feature, with the “Gaming preferred” toggle disappearing in the hours before Stadia’s shutdown.

When Nest Wifi launched in 2022, Google made a strong showing for its broader ecosystem by including special optimizations for its then-new streaming service Stadia. Specifically, players could enable a “Gaming preferred” toggle in the Google Home app, which would help ensure that one’s Stadia stream was prioritized over other traffic.

This solution was more practical than selecting a particular device to be prioritized, considering one of the benefits of Stadia (and cloud gaming in general) was the ability to freely switch between devices. In our own testing, Nest Wifi’s “Gaming preferred” toggle worked exactly as intended, making Stadia far smoother for those who invested in Google’s router.

Unfortunately, the vision for Stadia wasn’t meant to be, and Google began the process of shutting down the service less than a month before the release of the Nest Wifi Pro. With that shutdown now a matter of hours away, the Google Home app has fully removed the “Gaming preferred” toggle from the settings page for Nest Wifi and Nest Wifi Pro devices. The related support page has also been updated to reflect the removal.

Back in 2022, in response to the work from home boom, Google added a second “preferred activity” option to its routers to optimize for video calls. Considering Nest Wifi and Google Wifi are able to prioritize both Google Meet and third-party apps like Zoom, one would have hoped that “Gaming preferred” could work similarly. With the toggle now altogether removed, it seems unlikely that Google’s routers will ever be able to optimize for apps like Xbox Game Pass, GeForce Now, or Amazon Luna.

In contrast, other areas of Google have continued to put an emphasis on cloud gaming even despite Stadia’s downfall. The ChromeOS division has recently pushed the idea of gaming Chromebooks, effectively optimized for GeForce Now. Google Search even makes it easy to see which cloud services offer a particular game.

Thanks James

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