January 20, 2019

Google Is Reportedly Developing a Video Game Service and Console

01 July 2018, 08:42 | Cameron Gross

Google’s next big thing might be a gaming service to take on PS4, Xbox, and Switch


Rumor has it Google wants a piece of the video game pie and is working on its own streaming platform.

It's been an on-and-off rumour for years now, but new sources suggest that Google is looking to enter the home console business, with plans for a streaming platform to rival Xbox and PlayStation.

Google is also said to have met with game developers at E3 with the intention of bringing them onboard with Project Yeti.

With the combination of its expertise in cloud computing, its experience as an ISP through Google Fiber, and its very tangible presence in gaming culture at large through YouTube, the company certainly has the right confluence of assets to face the technical challenges it would need to surmount in order to create a successful game streaming service. Today's report even suggests Google is interested buying out game studios outright. Back in February, The Information also reported similarly, stating the project was codenamed Yeti. It will work much like Nvidia's GeForce Now, which effectively offloads the compute-intensive tasks to its own servers, so you can play big games on your laptop with low-end specs.

Google's interest in "traditional" console-based gaming is interesting in light of new technologies like virtual and augmented reality. Sony's PlayStation Now also operates in a similar space.

"Imagine playing The Witcher 3 within a tab on Google Chrome", one source familiar with the Yeti platform told Giz. The games industry seems like a natural choice for the tech company to attempt to conquer. Numerous rumors we've heard need to be presented with some skepticism until we actually see them in action. Google's service will reportedly try to solve this by offloading the work of rendering graphics to more powerful computers at separate locations. If you're stuck at a particular part of a game and need a few hints, you'll be able to activate an overlay with the press of a button that brings up a walkthrough of that game on YouTube. Interestingly, though, Sony and Microsoft aren't the ones lapping up the console rumour hype at the moment - that prestigious honour is now being held by Google. Apparently a games streaming service is top of the agenda.

Google themselves are now not responding to requests for comment, but Kotaku points out that the search giant did snap up former Sony head Phil Harrison in January of this year.

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