Google is set to take on the $140bn gaming industry as it presents its ‘vision for the future of gaming’ at the Games Developer Conference in San Francisco this week.
The Silicon Valley giant’s reveal is set to be a commercial version of ‘Project Yeti’, its cloud-gaming based subscription service that will allow users to stream blockbuster video games to multiple devices without the need for a dedicated games console or high-end PC.
Google’s reveal is part of an industry-wide push towards cloud-gaming, with several companies vying to become the ‘Netflix of gaming’.
The push is an attempt to fundamentally disrupt how video games are played, much in the same way Netflix and its streaming ilk has changed television, and broaden the medium’s already enormous audience.
But the traditional gaming companies will find themselves challenged by Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, with Apple and Amazon also reportedly looking into their own gaming subscription services.
Google is set to be the first to take the public plunge, however, revealing their plans tomorrow. But while Google theoretically has the resource to upend the industry, many feel that Microsoft is in the driving seat for cloud-gaming due to its experience in the industry, widespread cloud-network ‘Azure’ and its stable of Xbox Game Studios.
Here are six things Google needs to compete if it is to take its tilt at the gaming industry seriously.
Keep hardware to a minimum
Some believe ‘Google Yeti’ is actually a gaming console. But given the company’s already proclaimed propensity for cloud-gaming, too much of a hardware presence seems unlikely.
In fact, if Google want to disrupt the gaming industry, it would do well to keep any hardware needed for Yeti to a minimum. While the death of the home console has been greatly exaggerated -with Sony’s PlayStation 4 selling over 90 million units, Microsoft’s gaming division having its ‘best year ever’ and Nintendo’s Switch topping 20 million consoles sold in short order- that particular market is already cornered.