Silhouettes of the laptop, and the users of mobile devices are see next to a projection screen of the Google logo in this picture illustration 28 March 2018. REUTERS/dado Ruvic/Illustration – RC1F87EA23D0
Today I heard a story that I have heard. Google is planning a gaming platform, that will be on the Xbox and PlayStation, the headlines say — all sourcing back to an article by Jason Schreier on Kotaku.
If the name seems familiar, that is a good reason for that. Schreier has broken too many stories to count. When he says that Google wants to create a game console, I don’t doubt it. Google wants to make a game console.
But wanting something is not the same as making it real, is it?
As I said — I’ve heard this story before. Google together with Asus to build the Nexus Player, an Android TV box/game console released in 2014. No one bought it, of course, just as nobody bought any other Android-based TV box/game console hybrid that arose after the death Ouya generated millions on Kickstarter.
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The pitch has evolved since then. The new project codenamed Yeti, may be a hardware component, but rumors suggest that the silicon in a Google console will not be the star of the show. Instead, Yeti will probably rely on a streaming service similar to Nvidia’s GeForce Now or Sony’s PlayStation Now. Games will be beamed to your living room via the internet instead of processed on the console.
In a way, relying on the cloud makes the Game more plausible. Google has no experience in building console hardware, but the cloud? Yes, can do that. There is one big problem, but no one has proven that streaming games via the cloud makes sense. The idea came in vogue around 2009, developed by the launch of OnLive, a serious attempt to make the game-streaming work.
It didn’t. OnLive went into a downward spiral and was eventually acquired by Sony. Its competitors were also sold to other, larger companies, who have since used the technology to build niche services. The tech, in principle, can work in ideal circumstances — a hard wired connection with lots of bandwidth, but even then, most gamers don’t seem to give. Why stream games from the cloud when they can just pop in a cd-rom or download them for a time?
I do not doubt it, Google wants to make more money on games. Also I doubt Google can make it happen. Schreier’s report shows that this scepticism is also to say that, “Google’s history of starting and abandoning initiatives is a red flag.”
So, yes, Google probably is working on a game console. Just don’t get too excited because it’s probably never going to launch.
The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Digital Trends.