Kotaku reports that Google will announce a multi-platform game streaming service today that appears to be similar to Microsoft’s Project xCloud.
The service, codenamed Yeti, will run on multiple hardware devices, including PCs, Macs, phones, TVs, and more. And you’ll even be able to stream games from your computer using a Chromecast and an Xbox Wireless Controller or, presumably, that Google game controller that leaked recently. That controller provides “some sort of streaming capabilities,” Kotaku claims.
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There is no other hardware coming that Kotaku knows about, suggesting that Google’s gaming efforts will be purely services-based and not include a console of any kind. That makes sense: Unlike Microsoft, which must manage a transition away from its console- and PC-based gaming past (and present), Google can leapfrog directly to the future.
And this service will naturally be chock full of Googly weirdnesses, Kotaku also reports.
Google’s gaming service “won’t just allow you to play high-end games on low-end hardware,” itself a notable feat. It will also enable new scenarios where gaming fans can watch a game being streamed on Twitch or YouTube, buy the game online using an in-stream ad, and then pick up exactly where the streamer was in the game at that time. YouTube will even queue up walkthroughs for the correct part of the game too.
Kotaku further reports that Google has been funding its own games for the first time. Former Xbox and PlayStation exec Phil Harrison is running the firm’s Yeti efforts and has allegedly been “poaching” developers and executives from throughout the industry. The firm is expected to announce several gaming industry partners today as well.
Google will announce its game streaming service today at 1 pm ET/10 am PT during a keynote address at GDC. You can watch the keynote live on YouTube. I’ll be covering it live on Twitter, and Andrew and I are delaying What the Tech by one hour today so that we can cover the news; What the Tech will start at 2 pm ET/11 am PT.