Google is delivering a keynote at this year’s Game Developer Conference on March 19th, and according to a report from 9to5Google, it’s possible the company will use the event to launch a game console… sort of.

Project Stream/Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Google’s been working on game streaming technology for a while. Last February The Information reported that Google was developing a game streaming platform code-named “Yeti.” And last October, Google launched a public beta of its “Project Stream” technology that allowed testers to stream Assassin’s Creed Odyssey using a Chrome web browser.

The beta ran for about three months and the program has concluded. But it could pave the way for Google to launch a full-scale service that lets users stream multiple games over the internet. It’s unclear if you’d buy games outright, rent them, or subscribe to a Netflix-for-games type service for access to a library of games.

One thing that does seem clear is that while some folks would be happy playing games using a Chrome web browser on laptop or desktop computers, others prefer a more console-like experience that allows you to play on a big screen TV. And that’s what 9to5Google says Google will introduce at its March 19th event, along with the game streaming service itself.

While rumor has it that Google was originally planning to let stream games by plugging a Chromecast (or a similar device) into your TV, the latest rumors suggest it’ll be more of a game console-style box that comes with a Google-designed game controller.


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18 replies on “Google may introduce game streaming hardware at March 19th event”

  1. This should excite me as all my computers are a potato when it comes to games… Sadly the internet in my area is also a potato that maxes out at about 10-15mbit, so streaming also won’t work…

    1. Get a used RX 580 8Gb (if you have a decent PSU) or a GTX 1060 6Gb, add a SATA SSD (especially if you have 8Gb of RAM) and you’re all set for FHD gaming.
      1050 Ti or RX 570 might do in a pinch.

      With laptops everything is much worse, of course.

      1. Yeah, it’s a laptop. My most powerful one is a Dell E6430 with the i7 3470qm and 12GB of RAM with an SSD and a HDD in a caddy and a quadro 5200 with 1GB of VRAM. It’s a pretty good machine for most jobs, but it can’t play any recent games at all. On the upside, I got it for free, bought a lot of broken Dell laptops from ebay in a box (all the same model), selected the best parts, put this one together and sold the rest of the good parts, that ended up covering the cost.

        1. Yep, only an eGPU through expresscard.

          Still a decent machine with an awesome price/performance ratio.

    1. I think google could come out ahead with this, even ending up dominating the gaming hardware field, if they do the following:

      1. Release a console that can stream the games to any of their products, including android, chromeos, and chrome browser (especially chrome browser), over your LAN. This would add additional pressure to download chrome to browser discussions, and lead google closer to a browser monopoly, and this alone might be worth making the console, if they can move enough units. However it does it, it has to be a focal point of the console and do it better than the xbox one does. The console and online streaming service are not mutually exclusive.

      2. Make the console, as I’ve heard rumors of it being, actually be a Linux computer focused around running Steam and Proton. This would mean it already runs anything that works under Proton, the digital distribution platform already existed, and so did most of the OS. It becomes very, very easy to port games to this console. Then they just have to give it performance and especially user friendly convenience to compete against the PC market.

      And alternative strategy is to tightly integrate the console and online streaming service, by making the game run largely on a remote server, but ALL the rendering takes place locally on a console that’s more GPU than anything else. This is harder to do, and much harder to port games to, but far more rewarding. Or they could do both at the same time.

      3. Don’t do anything anti-consumer with this thing for 3 years or until it gets popular enough. This thing could be part of an “embrace, extend, extinguish” plan for desktop Linux, or even PC gaming as a whole. If they go for the second strategy, and it succeeds, they could, in the current crop of youth, destroy the idea of software as a product entirely.

      I’m not giving them any further advice for this. If they’re doing anything I mentioned here, they were already committed to doing it.

  2. Gaming. The last frontier left for Google to dominate. If the price is right? Let’s have a discussion.

  3. If I consider lag/compression this is really something I could not even care for (unless I am playing CRPG or turn-based strategy).

    1. Latency for most Internet users is around 20ms ping, and around 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speeds. That’s not enough for a good experience.

      Some people are lucky and have access to FAST fibre connection, around 3ms latency, and 90Mbps download, 40Mbps upload speeds. Even then the experience is passable, and falls short in some aspects.

      What you need is something better, like 1ms latency, 500Mbps download and 100Mbps upload speeds (advanced fibre/5G) with local servers for the streaming service. Otherwise…. “you’re gonna have a bad time”.

      1. You forgot something – encoding image, sending an image, decoding image – that will get you 30-40ms lag on 1GB LAN.
        Not to mention, have you ever tried to play something like a Farcry game on stream? Or just watch it on Youtube? When there is a ton of grass, trees, animals and everything is moving you get many visual artefacts no matter what compression you use.

        It not that easy as “I have a great ISP, my body is ready”.

        1. True, though my point is the streaming tech really isn’t quite ready…. but far from that most people with Internet Connection aren’t even ready, even those on fast connection. There’s a very small minority that even have can do a proper game streaming, that it’s not logical from a business point of view.

  4. It’s an impressive technological achievement, if true, with all the server-side, latency/lag prediction and whatnot.

    However, it’s entering an already mature market, competing for the audience that is largely covered by dreaded Youtube letsplays.

    Let’s see if it’s alive in 2021 and whether Google will allow players to export their savegames.

    1. A Google experiment lasting longer than three years? You’re joking.
      Google Reader
      Chromecast Audio
      Google Glasses…

      1. ~
        tinfoil_hat 1

        It’s almost like they close them after they gather all information they needed.

  5. I am wondering if AMD or Nvidia made the custom server gpus. Lots of potential for new chips to render to an Ethernet pipe.

    1. Nvidia do, Tesla is great for VDI or vGaming implementations.

      The drivers are near free as well as long as you don’t need Quadro features.

      I think AMD do too.

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