Sources: Google Is Planning A Game Platform That Could Take On Xbox And PlayStation - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:52 PM
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Default Sources: Google Is Planning A Game Platform That Could Take On Xbox And PlayStation

https://kotaku.com/sources-google-is...uld-1827217387

Over the past few months, the wildest rumors in video game industry circles haven’t involved the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Two. The most interesting chatter has centered on a tech company that’s been quietly making moves to tackle video games in a big way: Google, the conglomerate that operates our email, our internet browsers, and much more.

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 initiatives for most of the decade. In 2014, the company was reportedly poised to acquire Twitch before Amazon swooped in. Rumors percolated 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 materialize.

In recent months, however, the chatter about Google has gotten louder. At the Game Developers Conference in March of this year, Google representatives met with several big video game companies to gauge interest in its streaming platform, which is code-named Yeti, sources said. (The existence of Google’s Yeti was first reported by the website The Information earlier this year.) Google also took meetings at E3 in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, those sources said, and from what we’ve heard, the company is looking not just to woo game developers to the Yeti service but to buy development studios entirely. (Google did not respond to a request for comment.)

So what is this streaming platform, exactly? Like Nvidia’s GeForce Now, the Google service would offload the work of rendering graphics to beefy computers elsewhere, allowing even the cheapest PCs to play high-end 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.

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 rumors we’ve heard need to be presented with some skepticism 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.

Whispers have been quieter about Google’s hardware, whatever that may look like, but the rumors we’ve heard suggest that it will link up with the streaming service in some way. We’re not sure whether Google is looking to compete with the technical specs of the next PlayStation and Xbox or whether this Google console will be cheaper and low-end, relying on the streaming service to pull weight.

Those are the rumors currently floating around in games industry circles, where people are growing more excited about streaming every week. At E3 we saw both Microsoft and EA announce their own separate initiatives for streaming, and Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot made headlines a week earlier by declaring that game streaming was the future. Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently told Kotaku contributor Keza MacDonald (for The Guardian) that he thinks streaming will tear down the borders between gaming platforms. “Our focus is on bringing console quality games that you see on TV or PC to any device,” he said.

The big splash of water on any excitement for streaming is of course internet bandwidth. Streaming big video games means uploading and downloading large amounts of data, which is difficult in many parts of the world thanks to bandwidth caps and lack of accessibility to high-speed connections. Bring that up to someone at Google and they might bring up one of the corporation’s many other initiatives: Google Fiber, a high-end broadband service that allows for speeds of up to 100x what most Americans have in their homes. While Fiber has run into roadblocks and is still a limited service, with locations in only a handful of cities, it does show that Google is capable of solutions to the bandwidth problem that no other gaming company can offer. Google also has data servers all across the world, which may allow them to reduce lag. (Seemingly endless cashflow can’t hurt, either.)

Still, some developers we’ve spoken to who have heard about the project are skeptical. Google’s history of starting and abandoning initiatives is a red flag, as is the lack of proper internet infrastructure across much of rural America. If Google were to launch dedicated hardware, what games would it launch with? What would entice developers to port to the platform? Video game history is littered with consoles that have attempted to take on Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft only to fail in style, mostly due to lack of “killer app” video games, which is a reality that Google must face.

Other tech companies haven’t fared too well, either. Amazon has spent the past four years making big investments into gaming, spending many millions of dollars to woo top developers, build its own game engine, and buy companies like Twitch and Double Helix. Even with three full-fledged studios in operation, Amazon has yet to ship a major game, canceling the multiplayer sports brawler Breakaway last year.

One thing is for certain: Google wants to make a splash. In January 2018, the company hired Phil Harrison, the veteran video game executive who spent long stints at Sony and Microsoft as a top manager on the PlayStation and Xbox. Google has also been on a massive hiring spree, bringing in experienced video game developers and marketers from EA, PlayStation, and many other top companies. The money is certainly there. Only time will tell if Yeti materializes in some form or simply goes the way of Google Glass.
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Old 06-29-2018, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by kyzer1978 View Post
Like Nvidia’s GeForce Now, the Google service would offload the work of rendering graphics to beefy computers elsewhere, allowing even the cheapest PCs to play high-end games.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?


It doesn't sound too good to be true, it is too good to be true. That's why it's been around for 10 years and has zero traction.

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Or sounds too much like the promise of other streaming platforms like OnLive, which failed because of lag and video compression that reduced quality?
Wrong - These services don't catch on because they have issues with lag that the vast majority of gamers find unacceptable. The trend across the board in PC and console gaming has been pushing for higher frame rates and hardware with less lag/input delay. All streaming - even in-home streaming over a local network - has more lag than a standard console or PC experience.

Worse, the lag is variable depending on the distance between the player and the server crunching the data. This means when two players play the same game at different distances from the server, they're going to have an asymmetrical experience.


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Originally Posted by kyzer1978 View Post
At E3 we saw both Microsoft and EA announce their own separate initiatives for streaming, and Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot made headlines a week earlier by declaring that game streaming was the future. Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently told Kotaku contributor Keza MacDonald (for The Guardian) that he thinks streaming will tear down the borders between gaming platforms. “Our focus is on bringing console quality games that you see on TV or PC to any device,” he said.
Phil also clarified to Giant Bomb he knows full well streaming will never replace local hardware. He clarified he sees streaming as a way to get Xbox games onto phones and tablets. It's about adding more potential users who aren't buying consoles and PCs, not replacing consoles and PCs for the core audience.

Steaming will be out there as a product, but it's not going to give the existing core markets for PC and consoles any competition. It will be a way to push more casual games that don't require precise input to many types of devices.
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:11 PM
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*sips tea*

And so it begins...
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:30 PM
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No thanks to streaming

Hopefully they’re ready to sell hardware at a loss
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:55 PM
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No thanks to streaming as well. If they go physical, it can't have any less exclusives than the Xbox though, so I'm curious to see why they do.
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:57 PM
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I'm always happy to see competition trying to step in and stir the pot a bit, but I'm also not interested in the streaming aspect. Their inclination to compete seems like positive news for gamers, especially PC gamers, but I'm wary that this may just generate one more store front.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:39 PM
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I'm always happy to see competition trying to step in and stir the pot a bit, but I'm also not interested in the streaming aspect. Their inclination to compete seems like positive news for gamers, especially PC gamers, but I'm wary that this may just generate one more store front.
That's the major annoyance. Another store front. However, I think those already in the Google platform, it won't be that big of a deal.

I have zero interest in supporting Google. My Youtube Red account was solely for Cobra Kai, and it's continued sub is mainly because I'm too lazy to open up my account settings and hit unsubscribe. I stopped using Google as a search engine over a year ago.

Still, I think the future is in streaming, and Google has the cash flow and infrastructure know how to make it happen. People tend to forget convenience tends to win out. If it's convenient enough, and good enough...it'll take off. The idea is to have varying levels. For those simply interested in SP gaming, I can imagine this taking off quite well. MP? Not so much.

I think those that doubt it are dead wrong. And, time is proving it. Microsoft, Ubisoft, Google...all are talking about streaming this year. That's the inevitable path.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:32 AM
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Still, I think the future is in streaming
Please help me understand what exactly you mean by that? It's a vague statement that doesn't really set any goalposts in the ground.

I take that statement as you saying people who have been playing games on PC, PlayStation and Xbox (people like us) will eventually stop buying hardware in favor of using Steaming technology.

Is that what you're saying? You think "Core gamers" will be willing to sacrifice response controls, settle for more input lag, and accept an inconsistent experience just to avoid shelling out the money for hardware?
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:20 PM
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Please help me understand what exactly you mean by that? It's a vague statement that doesn't really set any goalposts in the ground.
We've had the conversation ad nauseam. I've stated several times over the years that this is the future and plans of all the publishers. And, it's becoming increasingly clear this year...even though it was fairly obvious up to this point.

Our wants for hardware will matter little when the grand scheme is control and convenience. For both the publisher and the consumer. Well, less control for the consumer...but certainly more convenience. That tends to win out in the end. If it's simple enough, quick enough, and cheap enough...people will flock to it.

The writing is on the wall when a company like Google is stepping in to the ring. With the ability to shape their own network to cater to the demands...it's a move that seems to be like someone laying their dick on the table. It's coming.
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:56 PM
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We've had the conversation ad nauseam. I've stated several times over the years that this is the future and plans of all the publishers.
That doesn't address the specific question I had for you about your comment.

All publishers can have their hat in the streaming ring, and keep offering those games on local hardware (PC, Xbox, PlayStation). Saying you think "it's the future" doesn't clarify weather you think those games will continue to be available to people who want to run their games on local hardware.

So, was what I said previously:

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Originally Posted by RM View Post
I take that statement as you saying people who have been playing games on PC, PlayStation and Xbox (people like us) will eventually stop buying hardware in favor of using Steaming technology.

Is that what you're saying? You think "Core gamers" will be willing to sacrifice response controls, settle for more input lag, and accept an inconsistent experience just to avoid shelling out the money for hardware?
...a proper and fair assessment of your opinion?

I'd just like to make sure I understand what you're saying.
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