- Word has leaked that Google is developing some sort of game streaming service, codenamed “Yeti.”
- Whether the service will include a console or some other form of hardware is currently unknown.
- If this is true, Google could be poised to shake up the $105 billion gaming industry.
Anonymous informants who claim to have inside knowledge at Google are reporting that the company is secretly working on a streaming service focused on gaming. Codenamed “Yeti”, the service would ostensibly enable gaming without downloading software or buying physical media.
Other details are vague right now, but it wouldn’t be too surprising if this turned out to be true. Google has repeatedly played around with the idea of getting more into the $105 billion gaming industry, and its continued emphasis on being a part of the home would make a gaming service a no-brainer.
However, there are still a lot of questions. Is the company creating a gaming console, or would the streaming service connect to existing hardware like smartphones and computers? Are new games being created for this service or console, or will the focus be on already existing games?
One interesting piece of information is that Google recently hired Phil Harrison as a VP and manager in Google’s hardware division. Mr. Harrison is a veteran in the gaming industry, clocking nearly 20 years building gaming consoles for both Sony and Microsoft. Could Mr. Harrison be heading up a secret Google gaming console?
If that is the case, Google faces a seriously uphill battle. Numerous gaming consoles and streaming services have popped up over the past few years, including from gaming juggernauts like Steam and Sony. While these products have not been outright failures, their success has been limited by gamers’ reluctance to fully embrace streaming games. With the inherent latency issues with games that are streamed over the internet, hardcore gamers opt for downloaded games or physical media.
Granted, there are more casual gamers out there who don’t care so much about frame rates and latency, and maybe this Google service or console would be marketed to them. Right now, Nintendo has the casual gamer market squared away with the Switch and its line of portable units. Perhaps Google is going to try to compete in that arena and leave Microsoft and Sony with the hardcore gamers.
Regardless of the strategy, Google making a leap into the gaming world would be a serious shakeup, as it has the resources and talent to give other gaming companies a run for their money. We’ll update this article with more info as it becomes available.