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Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Google might launch gaming hardware to accompany 'Yeti' streaming service

Google might launch gaming hardware to accompany 'Yeti' streaming service

Rumors of Google's leap into the field of gaming with Xbox and PlayStation have been swirling for months now, but a new report gives us our best glimpse yet into what the tech giant is creating.

Kotaku's Jason Schreier reports on five sources that say Google is looking at three areas as they explore the gaming space: A streaming platform, hardware, and bringing game developers into the Google family, either through recruiting directly to the company or acquiring entire studios themselves.

According to rumors earlier this year, Google is developing a subscription game streaming service that involves a hardware console.

Google might very well be looking to launch a console that doesn't have to compete with the price points of Microsoft's, Sony's and Nintendo's offerings, but in order to sell said console cheaply it would also have to be cheap to produce. As the two transition into their cloud streaming services, there is no real victor yet, and it is fair game for Google to try and compete. It will work much like Nvidia's GeForce Now, which effectively offloads the compute-intensive tasks to its own servers, so you can play big games on your laptop with low-end specs. As one person familiar with Yeti described it: Imagine playing The Witcher 3 within a tab on Google Chrome.

Google has a history of skirting close to launches and then pulling back, so whether they're really serious about jumping into launching a cloud gaming service is the big question.

Kotaku sources also stated that Google held several meetings with game developers during E3 2018, possibly trying to get the developers to make their games available on Yeti, or perhaps attempting to "buy development studios entirely".

Kotaku also points to the ongoing issues with video game streaming, specifically the effects of slow internet speed that make it hard to download large chunks of gaming data.

Other tech companies haven't fared too well, either. Not only does Google want to impress outside companies, it also wants to foster internal gaming development.

Google's recent hires also lend credence to suggestions it is up to something in the gaming world, with PlayStation and Xbox veteran Phil Harrison joining the company within the previous year, alongside a number of other leaders in the gaming world.

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