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Google 'Yeti' revives rumor of cloud-gaming entry, reportedly

It's not the first time Google has toyed with the idea.

Will Google be putting its big foot into cloud gaming? That's the question raised by a story in The Information that cites "people with knowledge of the project." It also says that it was intended to launch in time for the 2017 holiday shopping season, though no reasons are given why it never materialized.

There aren't many details, such as when or how much, or even what type of games it will run, but both a console and a controller have been mentioned. It also has reportedly been tested running off a Chromecast streaming stick.


Google Play store has been ready for your gaming for awhile.

James Martin/CNET

Twice before we've seen the giant lose high-profile gaming acquisitions -- or possibly let them purposefully slip by -- to other megacorps. At Google I/O in June 2012, it demoed the Gaikai cloud-gaming service streaming gameplay through Chrome; only a few weeks later Sony snatched it up for its PlayStation. Then in August of 2016, Amazon swooped in to buy gameplay streaming service Twitch (to incorporate with its Lumberyard game-development environment), which Google reportedly had its eye on. And those are only the biggies.

Maybe third time's the charm. Just a few weeks ago Phil Harrison, whose career path has included Sony's game development arm and Microsoft Xbox, jumped to Google. 

Given the renaissance of cloud-gaming platforms like Nvidia GeForce Now, it's probably the right time for the company. The big roadblock for these services is network stability and bandwith, which Google has some control over. It has Google Fiber rolled out in many major cities (though it seems to be stalled), it's got home Wi-Fi experience under its belt from Google Home, and it's been working on advanced encoders as part of the Alliance for Open Media. Plus, there are all those data centers it controls.

We reached out to Google, which declined to comment.