Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation have been at the forefront of console gaming for more than a decade, but according to reports, a new challenger may be arriving soon.
The next stage of the console wars may be closer than we once thought, and Microsoft’s newest console may already have a target date. But it turns out Google might be working on a project to challenge the status quo of console gaming as well.
Some gamers might not remember when Microsoft was a newcomer to the console gaming scene, but it is possible to join in if you have a massive amount of cash to spend and are willing to operate at a loss until you penetrate the traditionally loyal gaming market. Some Google tech has seen integration on consoles before, and the company is no stranger to making mini-games, but testing the console market is an entirely different story.
But according to Kotaku, the company is indeed working on its console, which will be a kind of streaming device that allows the remote download of games.
We haven’t heard many specifics about Google’s video game plans, but what we have heard is that it’s a three-pronged approach: 1) Some sort of streaming platform, 2) some sort of hardware, and 3) an attempt to bring game developers under the Google umbrella, whether through aggressive recruiting or even major acquisitions. That’s the word from five people who have either been briefed on Google’s plans or heard about them secondhand.
A “streaming platform” would mean hardware that only downloads games, which is standard fare on modern consoles. But Kotaku indicates that the platform would do more than that, possibly even handling the rendering of some graphics so computers with weaker specs would still be able to run high-quality games.
In recent months, however, the chatter about Google has gotten louder. At the Game Developers Conference in March of this year, Google representatives met with several big video game companies to gauge interest in its streaming platform, which is code-named Yeti, sources said. (The existence of Google’s Yeti was first reported by the website The Information earlier this year.) Google also took meetings at E3 in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, those sources said, and from what we’ve heard, the company is looking not just to woo game developers to the Yeti service but to buy development studios entirely. (Google did not respond to a request for comment.)
Whatever Yeti’s exact capabilities are is not known just yet, though reporting on the platform dates back to February. But the goal would be to infringe on the territory of the traditional consoles and take down some of the barriers between console and PC gaming. And with a company like Google behind the tech and development, it’s certainly possible that much like Microsoft with the Xbox, Yeti could become the norm in gaming in the future.