Google Yeti Games Console: New PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch rival News and updates
Google has revealed that it will take on PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo’s dominance of the console market in a three-pronged attack.
The web mega firm, which is setting up a console gaming division under the name ‘Project Yeti’, is planning not only its own video games machine but a Netflix-style game streaming platform too.
Alongside that the firm is trying to bring game developers under the Google umbrella “whether through aggressive recruiting or even major acquisitions”.
Google reckons it can take on both Sony and Microsoft when they release their PS5 and Nextbox in around two years time.
Industry insiders are at fever pitch as the company throws hundreds of millions at a potential new gaming arm that will aim to break up the status quo in console gaming.
Jason Schreier, of Kotaku, said:
“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.
“That’s the word from five people who have either been briefed on Google’s plans or heard about them secondhand.”
Google has been exploring video game development for most of the decade.
In 2014, the company was poised to acquire game video streaming service Twitch before Amazon swooped in.
Rumours swirled for years that Google was also attempting to launch an Android-based console, similar to Amazon’s Fire TV, but that didn’t happen.
In 2016, the Google-incubated studio Niantic scored one of the biggest gaming successes of the last decade with Pokémon Go, but it had spun out into an independent company the year before.
And Google has a long history of hiring game developers for projects that never quite materialise.
But things are changing. At the Game Developers Conference in March Google representatives met with several big video game companies to gauge interest in its new streaming platform, code-named Yeti.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about Google’s attempt to crack the gaming industry…
Since the rumours of the Yeti console first surfaced, fans have been speculating that Google’s new console will go for a colourful physical look on release.
They say this because they think they know what the tech firm is planning.
This is because some years back Google bought out Green Throttle Games, maker of the distinctly vivid Xbox-like ‘Atlas controller’. This was back in 2014.
At the time, the firm did not disclose what its plans were for the fledgeling firm or even how much it paid for the company.
But insiders now believe Green Throttle’s designs could be the key starting block to creating the upcoming Yeti machine, which will take on the likes of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next year to dominate your living room.
YETI? Will the Green Throttle Games controller and platform form the basis of Google’s console?
When it was running Green Throttle’s platform involved three things.
A colourful controller, a special downloadable app where you kept access to your online digital content in one place and an Android-controlled device that would allow you to stream games through the app.
Those who had tried the service loved it and insiders now believe Google took the tech and developed it, leading to today’s Yeti machine.
One said: “Green Throttle disappeared practically overnight when Google bought them up.
“But it was very much the kind of technology that they’re now talking about with the new game streaming service.
“I’d put money on them developing the Green Throttle tech over the last four years, leading to Yeti.”
One of the big rumours surrounding the Yeti console is that it will use modern day streaming technology to allow owners to play games.
The biggest advantage of streaming, as opposed to physical discs or downloads, is that it removes hardware barriers for games.
Games like Call of Duty can reach a significantly bigger audience if players don’t need an expensive graphics card or console to play them.
As one person familiar with Yeti described it: “Imagine playing The Witcher 3 within a tab on Google Chrome”.
Jason Schreier, of Kotaku has previously said: “Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Or sounds too much like the promise of other streaming platforms like OnLive, which failed because of lag and video compression that reduced quality.
“Many of the rumours we’ve heard need to be presented with some scepticism until we actually see them in action.
“One pie-in-the-sky idea I’ve heard floated, for example, is heavy integration between Yeti and the Google-owned YouTube.
“Imagine you’re playing a game and you run into a tricky boss or don’t know how to solve a puzzle.
“Instead of opening up your laptop or checking your phone for a guide, you could press a button to activate an overlay on your screen that cues up a YouTube walkthrough of the game you’re playing.”
During the 2019 Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, more of the internet giant’s potential aims with the console were unveiled.
We already know, thanks to The Information, that Google is actively developing a brand new console that will operate on a streaming service. And Google’s plans to monetize that service could change the industry entirely.
At GDC, Google spoke at length about its Universal App Campaign – a service it has which allows developers to target specific people based on data and metrics collected from a plethora of services.
Google announced at GDC that via the Universal App Campaign (or UAC), the company has driven a massive 10,000,000,000 (ten billion!) app installs, and driven gamers to 7,000,000,000 (seven billion) in-app events – reaching a certain level, or making a certain purchase.
The power of the UAC is clear. Google Play has over one billion visits per month, from over 190 countries.
Beyond searching for apps, Google tells us that more and more players are browsing the store, simply looking for something to play. To that end, Google is starting to roll out “high impact” video apps from within the App Store itself.
The Google app system works in a way that it allows developers to target players that may be willing to spend more money on in-app purchases, or who generally buy more expensive titles than cheaper ones.
From a console perspective, this system has massive implications. Imagine if your game store offered you games tailored to your tastes, based on your search history, your email content, your app store purchases, your Youtube viewing history.
At GDC, the Google talks largely revolved around engagement and participation on games launched via the App Store or online. The company clearly knows a lot about how to keep players playing, by giving them what they want, appealing to trends that are popular at the time.
Think about it: Google has the likes of Chrome, Youtube, Gmail, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Docs and even its eponymous search engine at its disposal from which it can draw data about you specifically.
Via machine learning, Google tells us, developers have managed to launch ad campaigns across all platforms that has in some cases increased audience reach sevenfold.
So if you introduce ‘Yeti’ into your home, Google would have the capacity to direct games at you specifically, predicting what you want to play and catering what it shows you for maximum effect.
Console purists might find this idea off-putting, but for the casual market, it could be a game-changer.
We’re keen to see how Google uses its ‘Yeti’ streaming service, and if it will bring console gaming into a far more mainstream position.
30 July 2018 – Google has hired Playstation’s top VR man as it prepares to unleash its own console gamer changer on the world.
The web firm has signed up Richard Marks in a big money deal for its mysterious console division. Mark’s previous work includes designing the hardware for Sony’s successful PS VR virtual reality headset technology.
He had been with the rival firm since 1999, working in its Magic Lab department, dedicated to all things new tech.
Its work has included the PlayStation Move motion controllers, EyeToy and other experimental projects which Marks once described as “pie in the sky.”
He’s teaming up with former Sony man Phil Harrison, who announced he was joining Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects team back in January as is believed to be among a core few working on the upcoming gaming machine.
Harrison tweeted: “Delighted that Richard Marks is joining Google. Exciting addition to the ATAP team!”
Google said: “ATAP is at the intersection of science and application where our goal is to solve significant problems and close the gap between what if and what is.
“We’re super excited about Richard joining the senior team and look forward to his contributions.”
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