We already know what Google’s vision for the future of gaming is – it is the cloud. Google calls it Project Stream, and it has also already filed a patent for a custom controller. At the Game Developers Conference 2019 on March 19, all these efforts might eventually culminate into one final product – a product that just might be ready to ship. While all of that is speculation for now, Google is gearing for a big reveal at GDC – and with company SVP of hardware Rick Osterloh personally tweeting about it, chances of dedicated Google gaming hardware are exceptionally high.
Google's game streaming service called Project Stream made its debut in October last year alongside the global release of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Odyssey – but it was a beta release intended to test the waters before a possible final rollout.
Google allowed select testers to stream Assassin's Creed Odyssey to a browser (Chrome, to be precise) on a laptop or a desktop PC going so far as to claim "near-instant interaction between the game controller with no graphic degradation" while playing the game in a tab.
It would seem Google is really looking to end the dependence on annual hardware upgrades (and allowing gamers to play demanding titles anywhere on any device including laptop, PC or mobile), touting software and streaming as the future of gaming. With improvements in broadband speeds in recent years, it’s a lot easier to fix or at least curb issues of lag and latency now – making game streaming a reality rather than a distant hope. But this won’t be true for all markets, which is probably why Google’s Project Stream has been only made available in the US to begin with.
It would be sometime before game streaming takes the mainstream route but Google would like to believe it got their first – its GDC keynote on March 19 will hopefully see Google talking about, “what’s next.”
Microsoft has also confirmed that it is working on its own game streaming service. So is Amazon.