From streaming technology to an ever more powerful virtual reality, Microsoft and Sony are predictable if anything else.
One thing that has thrown quite a wrench into the plans for the next generation, however, is Google’s rumored plan to introduce a gaming console that combines streaming with high-powered gaming to deliver a cost-effective means for gamers to enjoy high-end gaming at a budget price. Called the “Yeti” by some in the press, this effort by Google would place less emphasis on hardware and greater importance on streaming technology to deliver the latest in gaming experiences. The Yeti would compete directly with devices from Microsoft and Sony while coming in at a lower price. In order to deliver the type of streaming performance necessary for video games, Google will leverage its own technical know-how and network prowess to bring what many consider a holy grail experience to gamers. Sony, for its part, has tried to stream video games to home consoles with mixed results while Microsoft has explored a Netflix of video games type of service that allows users to download titles and play them to their heart’s content so long as they have an active subscription.
In case you’re wondering whether or not the Yeti is another Ouya with bigger backing you need not. Google has reportedly met with multiple publishers and major developers in an effort to secure triple-A exclusive titles for its console, signaling a level of seriousness rarely exhibited by a company simply looking to cash in on low-end gaming. Though Google has only had preliminary discussions with a lot of luminaries in the industry, it is expected that any real console effort would be accompanied by concrete maneuvers on the part of devs which has yet to materialize.
The most interesting thing about the proposed Google console is that it claims it will do what both Microsoft and Sony are wary of attempting in full. Streaming games is a risky proposition, especially in a world where eSports is becoming an ever more important thing. Precision and timing are paramount to success in eSports and lag won’t be tolerated. We’d be amazed if Google not only managed to round up a stable of exclusive triple-A titles but also solve the problem of wildly different connection speeds and the invariable lag everyone experiences. Achieving both of those objectives would be quite a hat trick but if there’s any company that could probably pull it off, it is Google.
One thing is certain, as we get closer to the next generation of home consoles, more and more information will surface about Google’s plans (or lack thereof) with regard to a home console. Video games are certainly lucrative, but they’re expensive to do right. We’re sure Google has this factored in to their plans for any future gaming effort.