WTMG Opinion Piece

Google Wants To Play Too

More than just a play store

Technology giant Google has announced that it will be breaking into the gaming industry with their upcoming console and streaming service, Yeti.

At this time, little is known about the device, but from early discussions, it’s been said that Google Yeti will be a download free gaming system. It will allow users to stream games from a remote server onto their screens at home through a dedicated piece of hardware (not unlike Chromecast) that has yet to be revealed. Most likely, Google Yeti will operate on a subscription based model similar to that of Playstation Now, only adding momentum to the Games as a Service (GaaS) trend in the industry. But how much momentum will it truly add?

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Google has already designed controllers for the Google Nexus phone

For starters, Google Yeti won’t be the first home console to focus on streaming as opposed to downloads. The Ouya marketing team put an emphasis on allowing consumers to stream games without needing to download them and take up valuable disk space. However, where the Ouya struggled, and likely Google Yeti will struggle, is finding developers and publishers who are willing to grow the console’s available game catalog. If Google Yeti’s plan is to stream the games located in the Play Store, they are bound to encounter more than a few issues.

Google’s Play Store lacks strong curation and has been filled with games and apps that behave maliciously and install malware underneath the desired application. If these are the games that future Yeti owners will be able to stream, Google will find their first attempt to be a swing and a miss on account of the mobile-esque quality of the games available, as well as the significant challenge of having to clean up their existing marketplace to become a more trusted source of applications.

Google-Play-Store-7.4.12.1

As a titan of big data, you can be sure that your existing Google login and Google Plus account will be put to use in the Yeti. This means that the media giant will only be able to gather more data on their users and have more control over the content Google users see, and personally, I don’t want to give Google any more information on me than they already have.

In order for Google to truly become a competitor in this market, they’ll need to be able to compete with the quality of AAA titles available on Sony Playstation, Microsoft’s Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It’s certainly a tremendous undertaking, but it’s not out of their reach. Google recently hired industry veteran Phil Harrison to lead the project, giving them a knowledgeable headstart.

At this point in time, we can only speculate based on the history of streaming focused consoles and Google’s reputation for taking on ambitious projects, this is a case where we’ll simply have to wait and see. We’ll be keeping up on future developments to see if this project evolves into the next major console manufacturer. Would you want to see Google get involved in the gaming industry? They certainly have the money to fund the venture. Let us know below!

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Boston born turned typical Brooklyn hipster with too much beard and too little time, trading off sleep for the chance to test his patience with the most frustrating games. From Dark Souls to The Witness to ironman Xcom playthroughs; if it offers a challenge, it’s on his list. When he’s not hiding in the mountains, editing music tracks, or pretentiously talking about craft beer, you’ll find him replaying the Bioshock, Mass Effect, or Souls franchises.

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