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article imageGoogle could be building Chromecast-powered gaming service

By James Walker     Feb 8, 2018 in Technology
Google's reportedly building a cloud-based game streaming service. If the project gets released, the company would enter a new segment of the entertainment industry. It's thought to be planning an entirely online service which doesn’t require downloads.
Cloud gaming services are starting to gain traction as games get ever larger. Downloading a new game can consume over 50GB of storage space, causing consoles to be filled up after just a few titles.
Services such as NVIDIA's GeForce Now and Sony's PlayStation Now offer a way to avoid this by streaming games directly from the cloud. This has other benefits for the player, including the pre-rendering of complex graphics for resource-constrained mobile devices.
According to a report from The Information, Google is now planning its own entry into the increasingly competitive space. Under development as the codename "Yeti," the platform is designed to lead a new Google focus on the gaming industry. The company has largely overlooked gamers throughout its history. Its previous attempts to offer gaming services have either been discontinued or oriented towards smartphone players.
The particulars of the service haven't been revealed. Google's understood to be using its extensive Cloud network to power the platform. After subscribing to the service, gamers will be able to stream new titles from the cloud to their device. Downloads and local storage capacity won't be required. Gamers will be dependent on a stable Internet connection though, so the service may not be usable by everyone.
Xbox Game Pass lets you play over 100 games for $10 per month
Xbox Game Pass lets you play over 100 games for $10 per month
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The software's understood to stream games to a Chromecast-compatible device. Although details are unclear, it seems as though Google's existing low-cost Chromecast hardware could be repurposed to relay streaming games onto TV screens. Chromecast already supports the necessary tech to make this possible so Google could be focusing on improving network performance and designing a specialist gamer-oriented interface.
Google's currently courting game developers to release titles on Yeti. As yet, it's unknown whether the company intends to convince developers to build Yeti-exclusive titles. The first challenge will be to build an appealing catalogue of games that's priced affordably and has clear benefits over the competition. With gamers already having a wide selection of platforms to pick from, Google will need to significantly differentiate itself if it's to break into the market.
Previously, Google's never committed significant resources to its gaming efforts and has failed to draw players away from market leaders such as Sony, Microsoft and Valve. The company recently hired industry veteran Phil Harrison though, implying it's more dedicated to its latest attempt.
News of Yeti comes as game subscriptions are becoming more popular. Services such as Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass allow players to download unlimited games from a Netflix-style pool each month. Google may be aiming to enter gaming at a time when the market is in transition, letting it steal players from established services as they switch to streaming subscription games.
More about Google, google yeti, Gaming, Cloud, cloud streaming
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