Despite Microsoft Edge’s recent switch to Chromium, it seems that Google is still getting the Microsoft web browser a special treatment regarding some of its own services. Indeed, The Verge’s Tom Warren is reporting that Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service is not working on the Chromium-based Edge, with Google apparently blocking the browser’s user agent string. Changing the user agent string to Chrome for Windows apparently solves the issue.
Google’s blocking again. If you try and use Stadia with Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser then Google blocks the UA string. Switch the string to Chrome Windows and it works just fine. 2020 needs to be the year this nonsense ends ???? pic.twitter.com/fAoxv9bNHQ
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) January 1, 2020
In its marketing for Stadia, Google doesn’t mention the service’s availability on other Chromium-based browsers, and a support page says the service requires Google Chrome version 77 or newer. However, Google Stadia works just fine on Microsoft Edge once you change the user agent string, and as Tom Warren pointed out on Twitter, it also works on Brave, another Chromium-based browser which uses Google Chrome as its user agent.
this is a typical excuse for Google blocking web browsers from accessing its services instead of feature detection. And yet Stadia works on Chrome Canary daily builds which are pre-release. It also works on Brave, a shipping Chromium browser, because Brave identifies as Chrome UA https://t.co/c8AriZk2S3
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) January 2, 2020
As you may know, the same thing happened a couple of months ago for YouTube and Google Drive, with Google using browser detection to block Microsoft’s Edge Insider browser from accessing these websites. In both cases, Google ultimately tweaked its services to make them accessible from the Chromium-based Edge. It’s not exactly clear why Google doesn’t want Edge users to enjoy its cloud-gaming service right now, but hopefully, the company will change things soon.