Technology giant Google is already heavily involved in gaming. The company runs the Google Play store (used for downloading mobile games on Android devices), and last year it unveiled its game streaming service, Project Stream. However, Google may be preparing to kick things up a notch if a newly sent out invitation is any indication.
Today, Google began sending out invites to an event that takes place in March. On March 19, 2019 at 10AM PST, Google will be hosting a Google Keynote event at GDC (Game Developers Conference). The invite asks invitees to "Gather round," adding that "all will be revealed" at this event.
While Google's invite is vague, some are questioning whether the company could unveil its long-rumored games console at this event. A report from eight months ago suggested that Google has invested a lot of resources into some sort of gaming hardware. The anonymous sources with knowledge of Google's plans even revealed that this console could potentially be a big rival to Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox.
The same report also said that Google's games console would incorporate streaming. Just a few weeks ago, the company stated that it has big plans for Project Stream in 2019. It seems unlikely that Google would host a Google Keynote just the sake of rolling out Project Stream to a wider audience. The big plans may well involve this rumored hardware, leaving many wondering if it could be a fully digital games console that has no disc drive and only offers game streaming.
Another big question about this Google hardware is what games it could offer. When Google launched the first Project Stream only one game was available–Ubisoft's ancient Greece adventure, Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Google has apparently been courting game developers in a big way since GDC 2018, but it's not known who it has finalized a deal with.
There's also the issue of exclusivity. Google isn't the only major player that's working on its own streaming service. iPhone maker Apple is rumored to be working on a "Netflix of games," online retail giant Amazon is said to be developing its own streaming service, and Microsoft's streaming service Project xCloud was announced last year, too.
Competition often leads to exclusivity deals, as platform holders use the strength of the games they offer as a key selling point. This often means that consumers lose out, as they are unable to play all of their games on the platform of choice. At this stage, it's unclear whether Google's streaming service or its potential console would have exclusives, but it is something to watch out for.
Source: Jason Schreier – Twitter