It'll be interesting to see what comes out of this project, but the idea of a subscription-based game streaming service from Google certainly sounds exciting.
According to Kotaku's sources, Google is working on a project now codenamed "Yeti" which consists of some kind of streaming platform, home hardware to utilise said platform and partnerships with game developers, including potentially acquiring some studios.
Streaming services, especially related to video games, have been talked about for a while but haven't quite reached their full potential due to poor internet speeds and people attempting to stream on low-end hardware.
Google might very well be looking to launch a console that doesn't have to compete with the price points of Microsoft's, Sony's and Nintendo's offerings, but in order to sell said console cheaply it would also have to be cheap to produce.
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Of course, maintaining a foothold in the gaming industry needs much more than just a hardware platform; it requires strong relations with a veritable range of game developers willing to port their products to your platform, or even make them exclusive to it.
There remains skepticism among gaming industry types, according to the report, some of whom cited Google's history of aggressively exploring a space and then quickly abandoning the initiatives. Offloading the hardware component to the cloud allows any device to play visually-intensive titles, and while previous attempts at making such a service scale to a wider audience have failed (remember OnLive?), if there's anyone that can sort out the technical details, it's Google. As one person familiar with Yeti described it: Imagine playing The Witcher 3 within a tab on Google Chrome.
Nvidia's GeForce Now, which entered beta earlier this year, allows users to stream a selection of high-end games to PCs and Macs.
One thing is for certain: Google wants to make a splash. Google is also reported to have recently met with a number of game developers and publishers with this in mind. They've already hired former Sony and Microsoft exec Phil Harrison, as well as developers and marketers from key companies including EA and PlayStation. Only time will tell if Yeti materializes in some form or simply goes the way of Google Glass.