With gaming becoming one of the biggest media industries, it’s only inevitable that other big-name companies would want in on the action. So it’s no surprise to hear that media giant Google is reportedly making plans to enter the gaming industry in a big way. According to Kotaku, Google is making their own gaming console and streaming service.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier reports that “five people who have either been briefed on Google’s plans or heard about them secondhand” were able to give him a few details on what Google has in store. That includes developing a streaming platform, gaming hardware and acquiring game development companies to make games for their various platforms.
The streaming technology that Google is working on is code-named “Yeti.” This seems to be the crux of Google’s gaming plans. Cloud gaming, or streaming as it is also known, has become a big trend in the gaming industry, with several companies either releasing or planning to release some kind of videogame streaming service over the last decade. Notable streaming platforms include PlayStation Now, Gamefly Streaming and Nvidia’s GeForce Now. Kotaku’s sources indicate that we could even see this technology working on platforms like Google’s own Chrome web browser.
Cloud gaming essentially lets players play games without the need for a console or expensive hardware. With Cloud gaming, a game is run on an offsite server and video from the game is streamed through the internet onto a player’s device or television screen. Players play like they normally would, with inputs from the controller to the game through the internet. However, there are many reservations about this technology—namely, whether the average internet connection is strong enough to properly stream video from the game and send inputs from the player without noticeable lag.
Meanwhile, Google is also reportedly working on the hardware to support their streaming tech. There isn’t much known about whether this hardware will just be an affordable device that allows players to access Yeti, or an actual console that will compete with the likes of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. However, it won’t be out of the question to see Google develop some type of device that allows people easier access to the Yeti service.
With Google reportedly thinking of buying and courting game developers to work with their platform, there may be something big on the horizon. The studio also hired videogame executive Phil Harrison back in January, who has previously worked with Sony and Microsoft. Their streaming technology could also work in conjunction with their recent Google Fiber service that provides internet to customers in several cities. This would ensure that connection issues for their gaming platform are less likely.
Hopefully, Google has plans to announce something more concrete in the near future.