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Google might be looking to take on Microsoft, Nintendo & Sony with a new console

Coming from good old Jason Schreier over at Kotaku it seems as though Google are trying to creep into the console market. The project is codenamed Yeti and is right now is rumoured to be some sort of hardware and a game streaming service similar to Geforce Now but the interesting part to me is the fact Google are said to be looking to buy studios. This has been apparently going on for a while now and Google are said to have had top secret meetings at E3 with developers and studio owners.

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Over the past few months, the wildest rumors in video game industry circles haven’t involved the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Two. The most interesting chatter has centered on a tech company that’s been quietly making moves to tackle video games in a big way: Google, the conglomerate that operates our email, our internet browsers, and much more.

 

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.

 

Google has been exploring video game initiatives for most of the decade. In 2014, the company was reportedly poised to acquire Twitch before Amazon swooped in. Rumors percolated for years that Google was also attempting to launch an Android-based console, similar to Amazon’s Fire TV, but that didn’t happen. In 2016, the Google-incubated studio Niantic scored one of the biggest gaming successes of the last decade with Pokémon Go, but it had spun out into an independent company the year before. And Google has a long history of hiring game developers for projects that never quite materialize.

 

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.)

 

So what is this streaming platform, exactly? Like Nvidia’s GeForce Now, the Google service would offload the work of rendering graphics to beefy computers elsewhere, allowing even the cheapest PCs to play high-end games. The biggest advantage of streaming, as opposed to physical discs or downloads, is that it removes hardware barriers for games. Games like Call of Duty can reach a significantly bigger audience if players don’t need an expensive graphics card or console to play them. As one person familiar with Yeti described it: Imagine playing The Witcher 3 within a tab on Google Chrome.

It's said that Google plans heavy integration with existing services so imagine you get stuck on a boss and with a single click you can call up a video walkthrough. At this point it's not clear whether they will try and compete with hardware or if they'll just use cheaper hardware and rely on streaming only.

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Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Or sounds too much like the promise of other streaming platforms like OnLive, which failed because of lag and video compression that reduced quality? Many of the rumors we’ve heard need to be presented with some skepticism until we actually see them in action. One pie-in-the-sky idea I’ve heard floated, for example, is heavy integration between Yeti and the Google-owned YouTube. Imagine you’re playing a game and you run into a tricky boss or don’t know how to solve a puzzle. Instead of opening up your laptop or checking your phone for a guide, you could press a button to activate an overlay on your screen that cues up a YouTube walkthrough of the game you’re playing.

 

Whispers have been quieter about Google’s hardware, whatever that may look like, but the rumors we’ve heard suggest that it will link up with the streaming service in some way. We’re not sure whether Google is looking to compete with the technical specs of the next PlayStation and Xbox or whether this Google console will be cheaper and low-end, relying on the streaming service to pull weight.

 

Jason brings up 2 very salient points though, Google has a history of starting projects then abandoning them and so far no one has managed to make a streaming only device stick.

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Still, some developers we’ve spoken to who have heard about the project are skeptical. Google’s history of starting and abandoning initiatives is a red flag, as is the lack of proper internet infrastructure across much of rural America. If Google were to launch dedicated hardware, what games would it launch with? What would entice developers to port to the platform? Video game history is littered with consoles that have attempted to take on Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft only to fail in style, mostly due to lack of “killer app” video games, which is a reality that Google must face.

 

Other tech companies haven’t fared too well, either. Amazon has spent the past four years making big investments into gaming, spending many millions of dollars to woo top developers, build its own game engine, and buy companies like Twitch and Double Helix. Even with three full-fledged studios in operation, Amazon has yet to ship a major game, canceling the multiplayer sports brawler Breakaway last year.

https://kotaku.com/sources-google-is-planning-a-game-platform-that-could-1827217387

 

This is very interesting, I feel like if anybody has the means to make a streaming only platform work it's Google. There's been mumblings from some big industry names about streaming being the future, I wonder if Google are trying to swoop in an steal market share before anyone notices?

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How many times is this now?  Googles wanted this before, might have even tried but don't recall.  They're too half-hearted in their endevours for this to pan out or to catch peoples interest let alone belief/trust IMO.

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like maybe you could topple MS but Sony and Nintendo have To Much Exclusive content that they can probably survive and if push comes to shove they would rather work together  both being Japanese Companys 

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I see EA having more success making a gaming console (once more) than Google.

The problem is, time and time again, that if you don't have the killer app/game, your system won't sale. Nintendo sales because of Nintendo games. Sony sales because of Sony games. Google has nothing, and making a game, is very rarely to be gone on the first shot for a company or someone that has never made a game before. Hiring experts is difficult as the big studios have them already. So finding the ones free, giving them carte blanch means that the company will get more these experts experimental games than something with guaranteed success (while still being new with innovative ideas and implementations).

 

All I see is another OUYA, more so than that Atari console. They might have the console nailed down, build quality, OS menus and all that to be an non issue, but the OUYA didn't fail because of that directly. It failed because it was nothing more than an Android box, essentially. It had no killer games, it had phone games. And I don't see how Google delivering phone games would help.

 

Nvidia tried with the Shield and it failed. Nintendo managed to make Nvidia dream a reality with the Switch, using the very same chip (essentially) of Nvidia. It brought innovation to the console space, and quality games that you can't get anywhere else.

 

I don't see Google being at E3 doing presentations year after year, assuming all this is true, they'll jut release it, and hope game dev will come. Maybe buy a few exclusive or time exclusives, at the start, but won't continue, and won't have a game studio under its belt.

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2 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

I see EA having more success making a gaming console (once more) than Google.

The problem is, time and time again, that if you don't have the killer app/game, your system won't sale. Nintendo sales because of Nintendo games. Sony sales because of Sony games. Google has nothing, and making a game, is very rarely to be gone on the first shot for a company or someone that has never made a game before. Hiring experts is difficult as the big studios have them already. So finding the ones free, giving them carte blanch means that the company will get more these experts experimental games than something with guaranteed success (while still being new with innovative ideas and implementations).

 

All I see is another OUYA, more so than that Atari console. They might have the console nailed down, build quality, OS menus and all that to be an non issue, but the OUYA didn't fail because of that directly. It failed because it was nothing more than an Android box, essentially. It had no killer games, it had phone games. And I don't see how Google delivering phone games would help.

 

Nvidia tried with the Shield and it failed. Nintendo managed to make Nvidia dream a reality with the Switch, using the very same chip (essentially) of Nvidia. It brought innovation to the console space, and quality games that you can't get anywhere else.

 

I don't see Google being at E3 doing presentations year after year, assuming all this is true, they'll jut release it, and hope game dev will come. Maybe buy a few exclusive or time exclusives, at the start, but won't continue, and won't have a game studio under its belt.

IDK, Sony's own games aren't that great it's just the 3rd party support they got after MS's horrible 2013 E3 event.

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2 minutes ago, valdyrgramr said:

IDK, Sony's own games aren't that great it's just the 3rd party support they got after MS's horrible 2013 E3 event.

Well that is your opinion. Some people bough  a PS4 just for Uncharted. And some got it over the XBox because they preferred the online service of Sony.

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1 minute ago, GoodBytes said:

Well that is your opinion. Some people bough  a PS4 just for Uncharted. And some got it over the XBox because they preferred the online service of Sony.

I forgot Sony bought Naughty Dog back in 2001 I was thinking more on the lines of that bad Smash clone.  But, MS did lose a lot of supporters to Sony after that event when they tried to force you to be online to play.  Then the one guy came out and said, "Don't like it?  Use a 360!"

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Imagine playing The Witcher 3 within a tab on Google Chrome.

So my games will compete with the 2-300 other tabs open? That couldn't go wrong at all...

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Introducing the... Ouya 2? Twoya?

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Please quote me so I can see that you replied.

 

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15 minutes ago, valdyrgramr said:

I forgot Sony bought Naughty Dog back in 2001 I was thinking more on the lines of that bad Smash clone.  But, MS did lose a lot of supporters to Sony after that event when they tried to force you to be online to play.  Then the one guy came out and said, "Don't like it?  Use a 360!"

Ballmer destroyed the XBox One. Beside the lock system, treating the console as a media center box and augmented TV type of thing for sports games, killing off the XBox Arcade, locking the controllers to the system itself, not PC support, having a system that looks like an old oversize VCR or Alarm/Radio clock, closure of so many of its studios and companies it bought and more.

 

I am happy that the company is trying to repair this mess. Damage is done, sadly, but at least they try, and so far, seems to succeed, slowly, but getting there.

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17 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

Ballmer destroyed the XBox One. Beside the lock system, treating the console as a media center box and augmented TV type of thing for sports games, killing off the XBox Arcade, locking the controllers to the system itself, not PC support, having a system that looks like an old oversize VCR or Alarm/Radio clock, closure of so many of its studios and companies it bought and more.

 

I am happy that the company is trying to repair this mess. Damage is done, sadly, but at least they try, and so far, seems to succeed, slowly, but getting there.

It probably doesn't help that they're also pushing all future "exclusives" to PC too.

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5 minutes ago, valdyrgramr said:

It probably didn't help that they're also pushing all future "exclusives" to PC too.

I don't think so. Most people that have a home gaming console, are there to play games unique to the system OR just play somewhere else, beside behind a desk. A home console is great for parties and playing 2 players or more on the same system. And most console gamer don't have a gaming system. The company probably did multiple surveys on most of its consumers, and ended up showing that not that many are impacted by this. If anything it is just added value: Oh you don't have a gaming PC yet, but later on, if you do, you can replay your games on it, no need to dig it up from all the dust.  Basically, it is an added value that they can offer.

 

At the same time, them taking the exclusive title, ensure that PC gamers aren't affected. Microsoft needs to ensure that the PC gaming space stays strong. Microsoft closed its eyes on many things in the past, and they lost a lot. Many devs lefts (smartphone took most of them), they missed on the server space (linux took over), Phone space, and more... they want to ensure that PC gaming is safe. And at the same time, they help boost their Store, which is slowly getting better and better.

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2 hours ago, Christophe Corazza said:

Google entering the console war? o.O

 

They will probably hide some scanner shit in the controller to watch you

they should call it kinect

 

oh wait

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10 minutes ago, aezakmi said:

they should call it kinect

 

oh wait

It will be called Google Playground, it will feature Google Play Store for you to enjoy Angry Bird on the TV or a crap version of Fornite, include Google+ with Google Handout for chat.

 

Your game achievement will post stuff for you in your Google+ profile and your friends phone will pop-up notifications about that on their Android phones each time you get one (expect many), and you'll also get notifications about friends achievement in Chrome as you web surf as well, just in the case you missed the ones from your phone. All there to try and convince people that Google+ is a thing and that people are using it, even though no one is.

 

Regardless, Google will now add your gaming taste for targeted ads and sale your data to third party

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2 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

I don't think so. Most people that have a home gaming console, are there to play games unique to the system OR just play somewhere else, beside behind a desk. A home console is great for parties and playing 2 players or more on the same system. And most console gamer don't have a gaming system. The company probably did multiple surveys on most of its consumers, and ended up showing that not that many are impacted by this. If anything it is just added value: Oh you don't have a gaming PC yet, but later on, if you do, you can replay your games on it, no need to dig it up from all the dust.  Basically, it is an added value that they can offer.

 

At the same time, them taking the exclusive title, ensure that PC gamers aren't affected. Microsoft needs to ensure that the PC gaming space stays strong. Microsoft closed its eyes on many things in the past, and they lost a lot. Many devs lefts (smartphone took most of them), they missed on the server space (linux took over), Phone space, and more... they want to ensure that PC gaming is safe. And at the same time, they help boost their Store, which is slowly getting better and better.

To be fair to them, they at least are updating their "console" exclusive library as it was kinda bad at launch.  New Gears plus the already out Gears 4, a Halo where the dev actually knows who the Master Chief is, State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves, and more. I do have some technical beefs with them to be honest.  Like why do I gotta pay 20-30 bucks to charge my controller, why did you need to originally buy an adapter to use a headset, and why do a lot of USB headsets not fully work on the console?  Compared to the PS4 I can easily charge my DS4, I can easily just plug in my AT USB mic into the console and it works, and I don't need an adapter if have an older controller either.  Another annoyance with the play and charge kit is that if you unplug the USB charger from the Xbox controller the controller turns off and if you're using a headset it does interrupt that too.  The DS4 doesn't do any of that.  But, for the ports and overall exclusives, I think Sony is still beating them in the market.  But, they also have a 4k Bluray player built into the S and X.  Sony wouldn't do that with the original PS4s or the Pro because they didn't want to compete with themselves, iirc.

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56 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

They might have the console nailed down, build quality, OS menus and all that to be an non issue

You're still talking about google there, right?

GoodBytes, I love ya; but when was the last time you took your meds?

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3 minutes ago, valdyrgramr said:

Sony wouldn't do that with the original PS4s or the Pro because they didn't want to compete with themselves, iirc

That, and it's too expensive to implement for an extremely small niche.

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Just to be the devil's advocate, I feel as though people underestimate Google. Not a lot of people had high hopes for Google's phone at first, but now it's one of the best camera wise. I think that Google also knows that there is a lot of skepticism in the market, so whatever strategy they'll adopt would likely be very calculated.

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I doubt I would buy their console as I barely use any Google Services and actually try to avoid them. I won't argue about more competition in the console market though, I can only see that as doing good by forcing Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to improve more.

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48 minutes ago, Drak3 said:

That, and it's too expensive to implement for an extremely small niche.

But, every model of the XBO that they still sell, the og xbo is discontinued I believe, has a 4k bluray player in it aka the S and X.

Gaming Rig/Workstation:

Bloodshed and the Fenris-Wolf:

| CPU  Ryzen 9 3900x(Upping to a 5900x) | CPU Cooler:  EKWB EK-AIO 360 D-RGB | Paste:  Kryonaut | Motherboard:  ASUS ROG x570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) | RAM:  G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 | Boot Drive:  Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME | Storage Drives:  Crucial MX500 500 GB M.2-2280+Western Digital WD Blue 2 TB 2.5"+Seagate EXOS Enterprise 8 TB 3.5" 7200RPM+Toshiba X300 4 TB 3.5" | GPU:  PowerColor Radeon RX VEGA 64 8 GB Red Devil(Temporary/Getting a 3090)  | Case:  Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL ROG Certified (Black) with Corsair SP140 49.49 CFM 140 mm Fans 2-Pack+4x Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 V2 Reds added | PSU:  EVGA SuperNOVA G2 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply w/CableMod E-Series Cable Kit (Black/Red) | Case Fans:  2 Corsair SP140 49.49 CFM 140 mm Fans | Displays:  BenQ PD2700U 27.0" 3840x2160 60 Hz+Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ 27.0" 2560x1440 165 Hz+Vizio 55" Class 4K UHD Quantum Smartcast Smart TV HDR M-Series M55Q8-H1 | Mouse: Glorious Model D- Matte Black  | Keyboard: Ducky Shine 7 Blackout - MK Exclusive First Release - RGB LED Double Shot PBT Mechanical Keyboard with Silent Red Switches | Mousepad:  Gaya Entertainment Oversized Gaming Mousepad Doom+Doom Eternal Giant Mouse Pad | Audio:  AKG K712 PRO Headphones+Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone+Kingston HyperX Cloud II 7.1 Channel Headset+iBasso IT01 Dynamic Driver Audiophile In-Ear Monitors/Earbuds (Black)+Pair of Mackie MR624s(came with stands+isolation pads) | OS:  Windows 10 Pro |

 

College 2-in-1:
Hati(Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14ARE05 81X20002US)

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The weeb console forces of Sony and Nintendo will unite to fight the evil Google Empire.

 

 

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