Google is Preparing New Video Game Console and Streaming Service, and Why This is a Bad Idea
World’s biggest and most powerful company in human history, and by that I mean Google, has decided to enter the video game wars, as it announced a soon-to-become-reality new gaming console and streaming service. So, it appears like Google wants a piece of that gaming dollar too, and that’s to be expected from a quasi-monopoly like Alphabet inc. The problem with Google’s decision is that they seem to be walking the path of failure, instead of delivering us what they should, i.e. affordable and high quality hardware, exclusive titles and gameplay, you know the drill.
If you were wondering what I am rambling about, Google is preparing some kind of Android based gaming system, an Android gaming console with a streaming service on top. Gee, I wonder who else tried and failed to make a viable Android gaming console:
If you remember, this Ouya thing didn’t turn out so great. The problem with Google’s idea is that there are already a lot of gaming consoles running on Android. They’re known as set top boxes, and everybody and their dog’s got one. And yes, they’re great for playing games, as they allow you to use cool combos, the likes of a mouse/keyboard connected together with a game-controller and things of that nature. The main issue with Android gaming consoles is that Google Play doesn’t work so great when it comes to gaming on a TV set. Many games have only partial controller support, or require a touch-screen, and there’s no viable method of selecting the games optimized for TV sets. Google’s effort to take a big chunk of the console market would be successful provided the company would create a section of its Play Store for console like experiences on Android, and then curate the content. Here’s from Kotaku:
We haven’t heard many specifics about Google’s video game plans, but what we have heard is that it’s 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.
Earlier this year, at the Game Developers Conference, the tech powerhouse had meetings with several large gaming companies involving talks of gaming and game streaming services. Reported earlier this year by The Information, this service could be called Yeti.
Game streaming makes sense, as many influencers and companies see streaming as the future of gaming, making games available, in theory, to a much wider audience. How, you ask? By removing the hardware requirements needed for games. While this is all good in theory, we do need to be realistic, as much of this will require amazing internet and there are still plenty of places worldwide that do not have that luxury.
Truth be told, game streaming kind of sucks due to input lag, there’s no way around it. Network latency is a thing even if you’re lucky enough to have a state of the art (as in lightning fast) internet connection, and a pure game streaming solution is stupid. Why is Google pushing this? That’s an easy one: since monopoly is the name of the game with Alphabet, they want to turn gaming into an internet based subscription streaming service, where Google has all the power, instead of publishers and developers.