When will Google venture into the gaming market?

Ramesha Perera
Mon 01 Apr

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo better brace themselves because Google is about to announce the 5 scariest word for any business to hear, "Google is launching into [insert your business sector]." 

Well that was what everyone was expecting at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Franciscounveil on March 19, 2019. But rumbling quickly turned to silence when no announcement of Googles highly anticipated video game platform Project Stream was made.  

Given that Google has been hinting for years that it would get into the $140 billion industry, the announcement is inevitable.  

Project Stream provides access to games run on cloud servers and are streamed directly to a players’ preferred screen - PCs, tablets or TVs.  

So, what will this mean for the industry? We investigate the good, the bad and the ugly. 

  

 The Good 

  • No more downloads: Say goodbye to waiting several hours to play the latest releases!  
  • Cheaper hardware or no hardware at all: If game streaming takes off, the consoles we buy could become significantly cheaper or become obsolete.  
  • Seamless access to games: Just like we can stream movies on our devices without interruption, the same is theoretically true for game streaming.  
  • More people can play: If games are accessible on more devices, then more people can play them.   

 

The Bad 

  • You own nothing: With streaming, you’re entirely at the mercy of the service provider. That means games you love could potentially disappear forever without warning. We’ve all seen TV series suddenly removed from Netflix. That can happen with a game streaming service too, rendering your hundreds of hours of play time useless until the game (maybe) returns to the platform in the future. Once your subscription is done, you might end up with nothing to show for it.  
  • Latency: Just because the lag situation has gotten better, doesn’t mean game streaming will always be flawless. If your internet has a lag spike or goes down, you’re likely to experience those negative side effects in an obvious way.  

 

The Ugly 

  • Gaming as a subscription: You could be paying monthly for a habit that used to be a casual affair or pay-as-you-go model. The prospect could become especially costly if Sony and Microsoft have their own services with different games, which seems a plausible scenario. 

 

With so much expected return to be made for the company and consumers alike, it leaves us with the question, when will Google venture into the gaming market?