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  • Daniel James

Kotaku: Google's Game Platform Will Take on Next Xbox, PlayStation

Rumors have been flying around for the last few years that Android-giant Google has been trying to enter the videogame industry. After a failed bid to acquire Twitch (which later ended up under rival Amazon), more rumors swirled that they were working on a game console.

It's not a far-fetched dream. The Nintendo Switch launched using what was essentially Android hardware. The Switch's "tablet with sidemounted controllers" design began with the Razer Edge and Nvidia Shield, both using the Nvidia Tegra platform. Nintendo later adopted this as the platform for what became the Nintendo Switch.

One of gaming's most prolific leakers of the industry's deepest secrets is Jason Schreier. And he's almost never wrong. He claims in a Kotaku report that Google is working on a game platform that involves both a home console and a streaming service.

According to Schreier, his sources claim that Google is taking a "three-pronged" approach.

  • A streaming platform

  • A hardware device

  • Acquisition of first-party developers

"Imagine playing The Witcher 3 within a tab on Google Chrome," Schreier recalls one of his sources as having describe the streaming service.

Game streaming is looking to be a massive business, with EA, Microsoft and Nvidia each pushing their own future solutions. It also makes sense for Google, who pioneered many of today's most popular cloud services with their Android phone platform.

Many companies have tried and failed to enter the game console market. The last successful attempt was Microsoft, whose lasting legacy of PC-style hardware and online console multiplayer has been made the standard. Yes, there are a dozen companies who failed, but I believe Google could pull a Microsoft.

Microsoft's Xbox has lasted because it entered with technology that no one else could compete with. No one could bring PC-exclusives like KOTOR and the Elder Scrolls to console, or make first-person shooters popular on console, or get seamless online multiplayer on console, except Xbox. That lasting legacy is innovation only made possible by a proper tech company.

Google showed off Android phones with AI that make calls for you. The latest Android update lets phones copy and paste text, just by pointing their camera at it. Google Assistant and Chromecast are already staples in millions of living rooms because of their ingenuity. If any company can pull off what Microsoft did twenty years ago, it's them.