Google will be holding its keynote at the Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) in San Francisco tomorrow. Here’s what you’re most likely to be in for.
Rumour has it that hardware won’t be the focus of the keynote. Instead, the tech giant is likely to announce its own browser-based streaming platform.
This comes off the back of Google’s Project Stream from last year. It tested out Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in a Chrome tab which streamed the game via Google Servers, instead of on a console or PC. And it seemed to do pretty damn well.
The draw card here is that it opens the doors for gamers to play games without having to drop fat stacks on expensive hardware. While you’ll obviously still need some kind of device to open a tab from, it would potentially negate the need to continuously upgrade your machine in order to achieve a great gaming experience with new AAA titles in particular.
Rumour has it that the aim is to make this streaming service available across almost any kind of device; including phones, TVs, Macs, PCs and consoles.
While this kind of streaming tech has been floated before, it has suffered from latency issues. However, Google seems confident that the sheer number of global data centres it has would relieve this issue.
Considering that Odyssey was used during the testing phase, it seems likely that Ubisoft will remain a large part of the conversation when it comes to possibly launching this service. Google also made a big deal of Id Software coming along to the event via Twitter (and Ubi for that matter), so expect some news there.
We're excited to welcome @idSoftware, makers of DOOM, to our #GoogleGDC19 Developer Day session! If you haven't already registered, do it now and join us on March 19 at 12:30 PM PT in West Hall, Room 2011.
— Google Developers (@googledevs) March 13, 2019
This just in!
— Google Developers (@googledevs) March 14, 2019
Despite hardware not being a focus of this event, there is one product rumoured to be unveiled tomorrow – a controller with dedicated streaming capabilities. A possible patent reveal makes it too much like a Ouya controller for my taste. But I guess we’ll see.
If you’re not a fan, rumour has it that you’ll also be able to use an Xbox controller, Switch Pro controller or Joy Cons with your PC or via Chromecast. Of course, that probably means that Chromecast will get some attention during the keynote, too.
As for other wild rumours – YouTube integration is being floated, with the possibility of being able to buy a game through ads as well as load up a walkthrough video in the exact spot you’re stuck on.
There is also talk of having the ability to buy a game while watching a Twitch streamer and being able to start exactly in the spot that they’re at and/or match with them if its a multi-player game. This sounds insane and have no idea how it would would, but I respect someone for daring to think of it.
Google’s gaming event kicks off at the extremely un-friendly time of 4am AEDT on March 20, and you can watch it right here: