For the longest time (at least since 2001), there have been only three major game console companies: Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. Many have tried to enter, most have failed — mainly because nudging your way into the console business requires a HUGE monetary investment that won’t pay off within its first few years. The XBox brand operated in the red when it was young.
Who has the cash to compete these days? Google! According to Kotaku, the search engine/map/Email service has their minds set on a new purpose: game makers. Google has never publicly stated this, but according to the site they have privately met with major software companies and game developers, hoping to convince them to support the proposed Google Console.
Here’s where things get questionable. Google has the resources to push out a console, BUT said console is rumored to be cloud-based, tied to Google’s upcoming streaming platform Yeti. “Like Nvidia’s GeForce Now, the Google service would offload the work of rendering graphics to beefy computers elsewhere, allowing even the cheapest PCs to play high-end games,” Kotaku states.
A lot of gamers would bristle at this news. You can’t technically own a game that requires support from a machine hundreds of miles away from you. Games purchased for the Google console/streaming service would only be functional as long as the servers for those games remained on. Someday, you would lose those games forever. For anyone who doesn’t know this, the press will no doubt pounce on that fact and shove it in their face. Notice….we’re doin’ it right now!
There’s also the fact that, as it currently stands, the world — or at least America — may not be properly equipped for an always-on, Internet-supported console. The high speeds required to make these games run don’t exist everywhere, and where they do exist they’re too expensive and controlled by monopolies. Google had the chance to correct this with their Google Fiber project, but that’s currently been stalled.
And finally, not everything Google introduces catches on, even if it seems futuristic and trendy — Google Glass, anyone? If Google is planning a Google Console they’re rolling the dice, especially if it works the way Kotaku suggests it does. Time will tell.