Google could try to get serious about gaming with a rumored console and game-streaming service, according to the Information. The service, codenamed “Yeti,” would stream modern games over the internet instead of processing them locally, allowing them to run weaker hardware such as Google’s Chromecast dongles.
Several other companies, including Nvidia and Sony, already offer their own game-streaming services, but the problems are always the same: Publishers tend to support these services half-heartedly or not at all, and even with an excellent internet connection, the experience isn’t as responsive or dependable as a powerful home console. It’s unclear how Google might solve those problems, but the company had reportedly considered a holiday 2017 launch before delaying the project.
As for a full-blown game console, the details are hazy, but Ars Technica points out that Google recently hired former Xbox and Playstation executive Phil Harrison. Google also has a capable platform already in Android TV, which supports most major streaming-video apps, has its own library of cheap and free games, and works with Google Assistant voice controls. Google hasn’t released its own Android TV hardware since late 2014, but perhaps the company has noticed the enthusiasm around Nvidia’s Shield TV set-top box and has decided to get back onboard.