Google is going big for gaming next week in an attempt to cash in on the world’s most lucrative entertainment industry (now worth almost US$138 billion dollars).
No one quite knows what Google’s first real foray into the world of gaming will look like; but many experts say that now is the time for the Big G to act. Every other major technology company in the world has (at least partially) one foot in the world of gaming.
Amazon owns Twitch, the home of livestreamed gaming. Facebook has Augmented Reality Oculus, while Microsoft has the Xbox. It would be a smart move for Google to jump into this lucrative market, even if it’s just to protect the space from being dominated by a competitor.
The real question is: what will Google Gaming look like? At the moment, Big G has a lot going for it. Android – its mobile operating system – is the biggest in the world, while its Chrome browser and Chromecast streaming platform let people easily fling games up on their televisions.
Are we looking at a dedicated Android console? Probably not. Google has always championed software and servers over dedicated hardware (just look at the Pixel’s camera smarts which make it easily one of the best smartphone cameras on the market – despite lackluster power under the hood).
Most likely, we’re going to be seeing Google leverage its cloud expertise in an interesting way. The smart money is on something similar to Netflix, but for video games. Imagine being able to pay a set fee for near unlimited gaming (and not just mobile games, either).
Google’s ‘Project Yeti’ – a codename for the team looking after Google’s gaming division – wants to let you play some of the most technically demanding games available right on your mobile phone.
While your bog-standard smart lacks the physical smarts to play – say, Apex Legends at full whack – Google’s cloud systems certainly can. The challenge then, is how to stream that experience (in real-time remember – gamers hate lag).
Chances are we’ll find out on Tuesday that the Big G has solved this particular technical problem (or, you know, it’ll just be a new Twitch competitor). We’ll find out in the next 72 hours.