Facebook announced yesterday that they're throwing their controller into the Cloud Gaming ring, although they seem to be doing it differently. Joining the likes of Google with Stadia, NVIDIA with GeForce NOW, Amazon with Luna and Microsoft with what was originally called xCloud (now bundled under Xbox Game Pass Ultimate).
In the blog post they go into a fair amount of detail about how it's going to work, and it seems it will be playable on Linux just like their current smaller games are as it will be directly in the browser at fb.gg/play. It's not going to split off into a new name or new service like others have done, it's just being integrated into what they're already doing with Facebook Gaming.
Facebook look to be doing it differently by coming out of the gate explaining they're not trying to over-promise, they don't want to replace existing consoles / gaming methods and just be an additional way to play games. Fair enough. They're also keeping the types of games down to a minimum to begin with, along with it only being open to the US right now in these places:
California, Texas and Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states including, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia
With more locations through 2021 as they scale up their infrastructure to cope with more people and more games.
It's also interesting to see what types of gaming they will do, as it seems they're not going for premium purchase games like Google Stadia and no subscription like Amazon Luna. Instead, the mobile-gaming way is coming with free to play games along with "cloud playable ads" and in-app purchases.
They also announced they will add in gaming-specific Player Names and Avatars so you don't have your real name and profile picture shown up when on Facebook Gaming. Due to the way it works, it seems cross-play will only happen between Facebook Gaming and supported mobile game downloads that support Facebook's login for gaming. No cross-play with other cloud gaming or other native desktop gaming, as they seem currently firmly focused on free to play games you would find on mobile.
The question is: will you use it? All the games being free sure does bring down a big barrier.
I sure as heck won't use it though. The last thing I want to do is spend longer than 5 minutes with Facebook checking for messages from family.