Google's gaming console rumored to be presented at GDC
Is there room for a fourth major player in the gaming console market? Things were definitely more interesting back when Sega was around, but now it’s all about who can keep up with the accelerated progress happening on the PC hardware side. Everyone has been criticizing the past few generations of consoles for their inferior hardware compared to the “PC master race,” and the console games that are capped at 30 fps speak for themselves. It’s pretty clear by now that the hardware race has been lost and a new direction has to be taken. Could this be Google’s time to shine with a gaming console that relies on quality streaming services?
After all, Google does provide the best internet infrastructure in the U.S., plus it owns YouTube. Additionally, the company has recently finalized beta tests for its “Project Stream” endeavor that allowed select user to play Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey over the Google Chrome desktop browser. Companies like Sony with PlayStation Now, Nvidia with GeForce Now and Microsoft with Project Xcloud are also experimenting with streaming services, so it looks like future consoles could include only powerful network adapters and CPUs in order to get the most out of the Internet bandwidth, while the visuals are to be handled by GPU farms in some remote corner of the world.
Project Stream practically tested the software part of Google’s upcoming console, but what do we know about the hardware part? According to a report publicized by The Information, Google has been testing and tweaking on a gaming setup codenamed “Yeti” for the past 3 years, and there also were reports of a Google patent involving a gaming controller that integrated push notifications and voice controls via a custom Android-y OS.
A console without exclusive games is not really worth much, and it looks like Google has this aspect covered through snagging gaming industry bigwigs like former Xbox and PlayStation executive Phil Harrison and former Ubisoft and EA executive Jade Raymond who was offered the position of VP of an undisclosed division at Google.
Last but not least, the latest teaser about Google’s GDC conference from March 19 was tweeted by Rick Osterloh, the company’s VP of Hardware, who handled successful releases such as the Pixel smartphone and the Google Home IoT system. Only 5 days until Google reveals its grand vision for the future of gaming.