Google’s Yeti: Netflix For Videogames?

Harry Coulter | 19 Apr 2018

Is Yeti going to be a game changer?Netflix changed the way we do television and movies completely. The content streaming giant has literally harnessed a world’s worth of data in order to create shows that will have global appeal. The entertainment industry and the model that was followed before the dawn of Netflix, has been completely disrupted. Disrupted in a very positive way.

Now imagine this: Netflix for videogames. Well, it’s no longer necessary to imagine, because Google’s Yeti is about to turn fantasy into reality.

Streaming Heaven

Yeti will reportedly work on exactly the same premise as Netflix. A wide variety of games stored on worldwide servers will be streamed directly to a hardware device in much the same way as movies to a smart device, or games at an online casino.

Streaming will once again be the key consideration here. Users will be able to stream games and play these games in real time without actually having to physically download any content. This obviously also means that there will be no need to purchase the game content as it will be transmitted to the hardware device in the user’s possession via the internet.

Google has reportedly been in contact with various game developers but it is as yet unclear whether new game titles will be especially developed to be compatible with Yeti, or whether existing content will be adapted to be able to run on Yeti. The latter will most probably be the more plausible eventuality.

Drawing On Experience

It is not yet known exactly when Yeti will be released but the cost of a monthly subscription should be more than manageable. Streaming videogames is, of course, nothing new. PlayStation has had their own games streaming platform for quite some time now. Google, however, is expected to have the technological edge thanks to the adaptability of ChromeCast.

This having been said, Google must have identified something valuable in the working model of what PlayStation has already managed to achieve with their own system. So much so that they have opted to appoint former PlayStation and Xbox executive Phil Harrison as the man to spearhead the new venture.

Phil Harrison excitedly tweeted about his new appointment as Vice President and General Manager of Google, last month.

Keeping Up With The Joneses

One thing is for sure, Google will have to bring their A-Game if they are to compete with PlayStation and Xbox live videogame streaming systems. Then again, Google’s Android Television Platform already runs circles aplenty around the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Android TV has a bigger selection of steaming applications, a simpler and much more user-friendly menu system and a particularly helpful and effective Google Assistant, which just happens to be voice-activated too.

If Google were to really get – and keep! – the edge, they would be wise to the little irritations brought on by cloud streaming gaming services in general. The vast majority of people who play console video games still prefer conventional systems, i.e. games that are released on a DVD (which by this point in time, sounds almost old-school). For hard-core gamers, the reliability issues and higher latency challenges just aren’t worth the trade off for more available content.

Google may also want to consider re-imagining how online gaming ought to actually work. The fact is, if Yeti were to come standard without the option of multi-player gaming, the entire concept would be dead on arrival.

We want to play games, yes, but we also want to share our victories with friends. At times, we even want to beat our friends at our favourite games.

If Yeti can provide all of this, then the future of a Netflix for videogames belongs to Google.