With the growth of stable internet connections, streaming seems to be the future of content consumption. With services like PlayStation Now and NVIDIA’s GeForce Now, it looks like we will no longer need state of the art hardware to play a game. Just a very good, very stable internet connection. The video game industry is a $109 billion market and Google wants a piece of the pie. If information circulating the internet is to be believed, then Google is working on a game streaming service codenamed project Yeti. The service has reportedly been in development for two years now and was expected to launch towards the end of 2017 but for unknown reason, the project has been delayed.
Information circulating the internet suggests that the service was initially meant to work with Google’s Chromecast dongle but it looks like Google is considering its own hardware with a controller for the service. We have seen devices like the NVIDIA Shield that work great for local game streaming (over Wi-Fi) and it would be nice if the service were compatible with existing Android boxes that support a game controllers.
According to Ars Technica, “The project is being led by two Google hardware executives—Mario Queiroz, VP of product management, and Majd Bakar, VP of engineering.” Google also hired Phil Harrison, a man who spent 15 years with Sony's PlayStation division and three years working with Microsoft's Xbox division.
At CES 2018, we got to check out a service called Shadow Cloud that lets you stream games to any device that’s connected to the internet be it a smartphone hooked up to a gamepad, or an Android TV or even an entry level PC. All the processing is taken care off at the server level. All you need is a stable and fast internet connection.
Game streaming seems to be the future and a subscription based model like Netflix is what we can see game publishers moving towards. We have existing services like PlayStation Now that gives PC gamers access to a library of PlayStation games that would otherwise not be available to play without Sony’s console. Microsoft has said that all its exclusive games will be a part of Xbox Game Pass. Xbox Game Pass is a Netflix like subscription where users pay a monthly fee and get access to a large library of games. This library of games will include Xbox exclusives that will launch in 2018 on day one. The difference with Game Pass is that users can download the game to their Xbox consoles and play them. The games aren’t streamed.
If the game streaming service will be compatible with Google’s exiting library of hardware, it is possible that the service will receive a boost since consumers will not have to invest in new hardware. Hard-core gamers wouldn’t mind investing in hardware if it brings with it a significant advantage.
Mobile gaming has grown over the past few years but not in a way that threatens console and PC gaming.