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Google’s next big thing might be a gaming service to take on PS4, Xbox, and Switch

Updated Jun 29th, 2018 8:58AM EDT
Google vs. PS4, Xbox, Switch
Image: 8Bitdo

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Google provides a lot of useful services, including the most popular smartphone operating system in the world. But what the company doesn’t have is gaming-friendly products, including hardware and software. Google is looking to change all that with a daring new gaming project of its own. The company is supposedly working on various ways to take on Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo with console-grade gaming.

According to Kotaku’s sources, Google is taking a three-pronged approach: “1) Some sort of streaming platform, 2) some sort of hardware, and 3) an attempt to bring game developers under the Google umbrella, whether through aggressive recruiting or even major acquisitions.”

It’s unclear what kind of dedicated hardware Google might be working on, or when it might be launched. But this isn’t the first time we’ve heard Google wants to target gamers with products of its own.

More interesting, however, is the streaming option that would allow Google to make high-end gaming available to more users without needing to sell them dedicated consoles. Microsoft is doing the same thing, but Microsoft has the advantage of being one of the established players in the gaming landscape. Like Microsoft, Nvidia and EA are also working on game streaming services.

The code name for Google’s game streaming platform is Yeti. Just like any other game streaming platform, Google’s would offload most of the processing to cloud computers and stream those high-end games to end-user devices. A person familiar with Yeti said the platform could bring games like The Witcher 3 to a tab in Google Chrome. Yeti would also be integrated with YouTube, the report notes, and would link up with whatever console Google might be developing.

Google also had a presence at GDC and E3 this year, talking to game developers about its plans. Google is looking to buy some studios as well, a move that might be necessary to develop some sort of game experiences that would be available only on Google’s gaming service.

It’s unclear at this time when Google will make its gaming ambitions official. Hopefully, this isn’t yet another Google initiative that doesn’t see the light of day.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.