Few companies in the world are as powerful as Google, also known as Alphabet (the holding company for Google). And when Google turns its eyes on an industry, stalwarts tend to quake in the company’s shadow as it is known for not only changing the game entirely but dominating the new playing field as it does.
So you can imagine that reports that Google was exploring the world of video games with its own game console were both treated with a grain of salt and and a ounce of caution because such a move would not only be monumental but it could change the face of the industry forever.
The UK’s Express reports that, according to leaks from within the company, the console is being designed from the ground up to compete with the Xbox One X and the PlayStation 4 Pro but it might be taking a route that few consumers expect. Word on the street is that the Google device will be a fancy streaming service with the Silicon Valley search giant taking advantage of the emerging streaming games technology as its point of entry into video games. If Google went that route they would not be unique in the video games segment as Sony has a streaming service up and running now and Microsoft and Nintendo are exploring similar things according to industry whispers.
The console is being handled by the new gaming division of Alphabet, called Yeti, with a focus on delivering a streaming games console with a Netflix-like buffet of games available. One major aspect of this rumor that has industry tongues wagging in anticipation is that Google plans on luring developers to its platform through a series of aggressive maneuvers. Whether that means acquisitions or just incentives is anyone’s guess but a power move into the video games space could see Google buying a major publisher outright.
Some names that come to mind are Activision-Blizzard, makers of the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft games among others, or even Take Two Interactive, home of Rockstar and the best-selling media property of all time, Grand Theft Auto V. This rumor was buoyed by reports that Google met with a series of high profile game companies back in March at the 2018 Game Developers Conference as well as meetings with companies at E3 in Los Angeles in 2018.
Though Google has remained mum on the whole thing that hasn’t stopped speculation about what the impending Google takeover of gaming is going to look like. The biggest snag in the whole plotline is the streaming service plan.
As anyone who has played a fighting game on a streaming service can tell you, the responsiveness is just not there yet and this really holds the tech back from being taken seriously by gamers. In games that do not require fast-timing streaming is probably an ideal option for gamers that can’t afford expensive systems. It remains to be seen if Google can be the company to make this tech a viable reality until then everything sounds quite pie in the sky.