Google could venture into the video game market. What does this mean for the industry and the players?
The renowned video game page Kotaku received a report from sources involved in Google at the end of last month. In this, it is suggested that the technology giant seeks to break into the video game market dominated by Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, with its own platform for streaming games. According to Kotaku, the new Google platform, whose project is called Google Yeti, would differentiate itself from all the others in that it would be based entirely on streaming, as Netflix and Spotify do, it would transfer all the storage of the games to the remote servers of Google to which the customers will be able to access.
Leer en español: Ahora será más barato jugar videojuegos gracias Google Yeti
This is a complete revolution in the world of the video games, as the players were limited to the capacity of their hardware, either of their PC or their console, to determine what games can play and with what graphical resolution. But, according to the sources available to Kotaku, the Google Yeti service would transfer the graphics processing load to the Google servers that would simply transfer the image to the players' screens.
For the casual player, this is a great advantage since he/she can access to the latest titles in the best quality and performance without having to buy an expensive console or a PC of high-end games. "Games like Call of Duty can reach a significantly bigger audience if players don’t need an expensive graphics card or console to play them," Kotaku reported.
The democratization of video games
The introduction of Google Yeti, if it meets the stipulations of the rumors, will be a key step in the process of the democratization of video games that still remain inaccessible for many consumers, because the PCs for games, consoles and the games themselves have high costs. A PlayStation 4, the latest Sony console, costs from 300 to 400 dollars, while its equivalent of Microsoft, the Xbox One, can cost from 300 to 500 dollars. Meanwhile, the new high profile releases, for all consoles, cost 60 dollars each.
The financial entry barriers for PC players are even higher. Jae Alexis Lee, a technology enthusiast, told Forbes that PCs optimized for games are, financially, "bottomless holes", because at the speed at which the new hardware is developed and the high cost of each part needed for the high performance of a gaming PC makes the cost of building and maintaining a unit with these characteristics very high.
According to Lee, a basic gaming PC can cost from 650 dollars to 750 dollars, where the single video card, the unit responsible for processing video game graphics, can cost almost 300 dollars. A very high figure, especially considering that it is an outdated MSI Radeon 4GB card, while the most updated and capable, such as the NVIDIA GeForce Titan X 12GB, cost around 1,600 dollars.
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If the rumors of Google Yeti are fulfilled, the cost to access the latest experiences in video games would be drastically reduced. This is because, from a relatively basic computer and even through the window of a web browser, games will be transmitted with the highest possible graphics fidelity, processed by Google's hardware. "Imagine playing The Witcher 3 within a tab on Google Chrome", as described by a source involved in the project to Kotaku, a web portal that confirmed the first reports about Google Yeti, issued by The Information in February of this year.
Uncertainty about the scope of this platform lies in the access to high-capacity broadband. While Google Yeti and video game streaming would eliminate the hardware barrier, a platform with these characteristics would require high-capacity Internet access. This is because large amounts of information would be transmitted, which would put it out of reach in many regions of the world where high-capacity broadband is not provided.
A whole business plan
Besides the huge impact that Google Yeti can have on the video game market and the players in general, Kotaku also reports that Google's plans go beyond the development of this new video game platform. It also includes a strategy to become a developer of its own games, with plans to work or buy existing game studios.
This was the focus of Google in the Game Developers Conference that took place in March of this year where, according to reports from Kotaku, it met with many developers to measure their interest in the project. "There is an attempt to bring game developers under the Google umbrella, whether through aggressive recruiting or even major acquisitions," Kotaku reported.
LatinAmerican Post | Pedro Bernal
Translated from "Ahora será más barato jugar videojuegos gracias Google Yeti"