The search giant and developer of Android may be considering the unexpected: a gaming play. While you'd never expect Google to join the gaming market given its almost non-existent footprint in the industry, that's what a new report from Kotaku suggests, backed by five independent sources.
The report comes as a follow up to an earlier report suggesting the Palo Alto giant was working on a game streaming service codenamed Yeti, and confirms it. It also clarified that alongside the streaming platform, Google is also looking to launch its own console, though it's not entirely if clear if the device will feature dedicated graphics and compete with the Xbox One and PS4 directly or if it will simply serve as a gateway for the streaming service.
Of course, maintaining a foothold in the gaming industry needs much more than just a hardware platform; it requires strong relations with a veritable range of game developers willing to port their products to your platform, or even make them exclusive to it. To that end, Google is said to be working hard on fostering the kinds of relationships Microsoft and Sony have had for years already, and possibly even launch a string of acquisitions to help achieve this goal. Google is also reported to have recently met with a number of game developers and publishers with this in mind.
Google's recent hires also lend credence to suggestions it is up to something in the gaming world, with PlayStation and Xbox veteran Phil Harrison joining the company within the last year, alongside a number of other leaders in the gaming world.
With streaming considered the next big thing in the future of gaming, Google is certainly poised to make a big break in the space with its cloud computing clout but so, too, is Microsoft. The latter also has the added advantage of nearly two decades of experience in the industry. Then, there are concerns over internet accessibility and infrastructure, which are currently considered the biggest hurdles to the widespread success of game streaming as a viable alternative to a PC or console with its own hardware.
With the combination of its expertise in cloud computing, its experience as an ISP through Google Fiber, and its very tangible presence in gaming culture at large through YouTube, the company certainly has the right confluence of assets to face the technical challenges it would need to surmount in order to create a successful game streaming service. Whether it will be able to do so in practice, only time will tell.