Something to look forward to: The annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) has begun, and later today all eyes will be on Google’s keynote, which you can watch live at 10 AM PDT/ 1 PM ET. The big announcement looks set to be its game-streaming service that we’ve been hearing about for over a year now.
The first reports that Google might be another company looking to develop a 'Netflix for video games' arrived last February. We later heard that it was developing some sort of hardware linked to its streaming service, and October saw the unveiling of ‘Project Stream,’ which allowed testers to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey entirely through the Chrome browser.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier believes the keynote’s main focus will be on the streaming service itself and the new controller it uses, rather than on a console. We've also seen what's thought to be the product's logo (via Variety).
Game streaming has been around for a while now but has only just started to take off, thanks to improving technology and faster internet connections. Services such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now allows people to enjoy games without having to buy expensive PCs or consoles.
Can't wait for GDC 3 19 19! https://t.co/Ybjg31Yh2G— Rick Osterloh (@rosterloh) March 12, 2019
Similar to Microsoft’s upcoming xCloud, it’s rumored that Google’s service will be playable on multiple devices, including PCs, Macs, phones, and TVs. Schreier writes that the controller may feature some kind of streaming capabilities, perhaps allowing owners to link to TVs and access the streaming platform. Interestingly, he says there’s been no word on any other hardware announcements.
Some of the service’s features do sound pretty amazing: watching a Twitch streamer and being able to buy the game they’re playing before joining a multiplayer match with them—assuming they allow it. There’s also said to be YouTube integration, which could be linked to walkthrough videos. Whatever Google has in store, we’ll find out all the details in a few hours.