Google Yeti Games Console: Big News for Sony PS5 and Microsoft Xbox Scarlett rival (Pic: DS)
Google Yeti Games Console – UPDATE
Google has been warned it may have a big problem competing against Xboxs new game streaming service by industry experts Digital Foundry.
The groups Richard Leadbetter said the new xCloud game streaming system looks like its going to have instant access to a wealth of both new and old Xbox titles from day one.
But Googles upcoming rival Yeti service is relying on next-generation technology and will, therefore, have to wait until developers working on future real-world consoles deliver a library of must-play games before it really gets going.
That could cost the firm as Xbox relies on its impressive past glories to get subscribers signed up while Google offers little in the way of new incentives to join its own streaming platform.
Mr Leadbetter said: “It gives Microsoft a big advantage over its competitors at Google – content.
“Our understanding is that the Google system, codenamed Yeti, is a new platform built from the ground up, based on Linux and using the Vulkan graphics API.
“As a new platform, it's designed with the future in mind, with specs that are comparable to those projected for the next-gen consoles – but that also means that it's going to take time to build a library of games.
“By focusing on its existing hardware, Microsoft can seamlessly add streaming to the Xbox One platform – and in theory all titles could be playable on mobile devices day and date with the standard console launches.”
Keep reading for everything we know about Google Yeti so far…
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 havent heard many specifics about Googles video game plans, but what we have heard is that its 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.
"Thats the word from five people who have either been briefed on Googles 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 Amazons Fire TV, but that didnt 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? (Pic: PH)
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 dont 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, doesnt 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 weve heard need to be presented with some scepticism until we actually see them in action.
"One pie-in-the-sky idea Ive heard floated, for example, is heavy integration between Yeti and the Google-owned YouTube.
"Imagine youre playing a game and you run into a tricky boss or dont 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 youre playing."
October 2nd – Has the first playable game of the Google Yeti games console been revealed?
This week, Google has announced a test that will allow players to stream the impressive Assassin's Creed Odyssey via Google Chrome browser.
This is pretty much Google's confirmation that it's working on a game streaming solution – and it's chosen a blockbuster game to help show it off.
Called Project Stream, the new service aims wants to offer a streaming solution for gaming the same we have we for music, films and TV.
A limited beta test will begin on October 5, allowing participants to stream the full version of Assassins Creed Odyssey completely freethrough the Google Chrome browser.
There's a downside, though – to make the most of this test, youre going to need a minimum connection of at least 25 megabits per second.
You can read all about the test – and sign up for the possibility of being included in it (if you're in the US) here.
Check out the trailer for Project Stream below, and expect to hear more about Google Yeti soon.
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.
Ubisoft's CEO – Yves Guillemot – has revealed his thoughts on what the shape of the next generation of consoles could look like.
Guillemot – who has been part of the industry since 1986! – recently spoke to IGN about what he believes the next generation of consoles should deliver to gamers (and how Ubisoft can help deliver on that).
In the interview, Yves notes that the machines will be more powerful (this is a given), but that more power in the console will be pushed towards better streaming experiences. He also doubles down on the fact models will be scalable – that people can choose models that fit their needs.
"The machines will be more powerful and the system to transfer data will be more efficient, so at one point, we will have a better experience streaming something than having to buy a machine and change the machine regularly," he explains.
"We'll have different models. Everyone will be able to choose the model that fits for the type of amount he or she wants to invest. What I'd like is the diversity of models. I don't like one specific way to participate. Id like to keep different types of approaches so that anyone can play with each other.”
He also notes that games will become more collaborative, and the line between player/creator will be blurred in some cases.
"We feel it's very important to bring the community into the creation of the game so they really feel more at home when they play. Going to HitRecord was a way to organize those things in such a way that it could work with many people. It's working very well. We are seeing lots of proposals that are fantastic. It's really going to improve the diversity and appeal of the game.
“[In the future], games are going to be really huge worlds. It will be really good to have more creators being able to create environments that will be completely different from what only a team [of developers], even if it's 500 people, can imagine."
It's a pretty utopian idea – and one that could be even closer than we realise.
30 July 2018 – Google has hired Playstations 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. Marks previous work includes designing the hardware for Sonys 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.”
Hes teaming up with former Sony man Phil Harrison, who announced he was joining Googles 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.
“Were super excited about Richard joining the senior team and look forward to his contributions.”