By now you may have seen the rumours being reported by The Information that Google has been working on a streaming video game service for some time and is looking at the possibility of releasing its own hardware to go head to head with Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo.
From what we can tell the service, codenamed “Yeti” internally by Google looks to run similarly to Sonys “PlayStation Now” service, where customers sign up to a monthly subscription to have access to games, played online via a cloud-based service. This new service has reportedly been in development for two years, and it’s so far along that Google reportedly considered launching it for the Holiday 2017 season. For an unknown reason, the project was delayed.
Essentially the service runs by having the games run on a remote device and the video of the gameplay is only streamed to your device, making the actual physical device simply a controller port and video streaming port.
Game streaming removes the need to purchase expensive video game hardware since all the game processing is done in the cloud. The tradeoff is that it puts a big strain on your Internet service and the provider’s infrastructure since every video frame and every button press has to be streamed over the Internet with minimal lag. If any company is good at building a speedy, robust Internet service, though, it’s Google. It already has a massive content delivery infrastructure thanks to sites like YouTube, and the company currently has a small gaming footprint with the Android-focused Google Play Games service and YouTube Gaming, a Twitch competitor.
Personally I think this is the future of gaming, much like smartphones no longer require you to have music & videos on your device as you can simply stream them using Spotify, Google music, Netflix e.t.c., In fact, I personally don’t even own CD’s or DVD’s anymore as I stream everything at home. To do this with high-end gaming is the dream!
However I live in Sydney Australia, and as I have previously written about the internet here leaves a lot to be desired!
The big difference between streaming video/music versus streaming a video game is that it requires a good upload as well as download speed to send your controller input to the server at a speed fast enough that you don’t notice any difference between streaming the game and having the game hosted on your own device and most internet connections in Australia simply don’t have the upload speed required to achieve this.
This is the future of gaming… and Australia isn’t ready for it.