Google is reportedly planning to launch a 'Netflix for games' service that could turn the $140 billion industry on its head

Key Points
  • Google will announce new hardware for its upcoming streaming game product at the Game Developers Conference, according to 9to5Google.
  • Google had offered a streaming game beta that ended in January, and later said it would make an announcement at the conference.
  • The service could open up console gaming to more devices, letting users stream high-end games without buying a console like the PlayStation or Xbox.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks onstage during the annual Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California, May 8, 2018.
Stephen Lam | Reuters

Google will unveil new gaming hardware in a keynote speech at a major video game conference next month, 9to5Google reported, taking on traditional players in the gaming space like Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation.

The service is said to let users stream console-quality games on cheaper hardware, with the ultimate goal of offering a "Netflix for games" subscription service. With the move, Google could shake up the growing gaming industry, which research firm Newzoo predicted booked $138 billion in revenue in 2018.

Google's gaming initiative, known as "Project Yeti" as first reported by The Information, will be taking on traditional and newer players in the gaming space. Nvidia and Sony already offer streamed games, and Microsoft is working on a streaming product called Project xCloud. Even Amazon has been working on a video game streaming service, according to The Information.

The announcement will come after Google's game streaming service beta trial ended in January. The trial let gamers test play "Assassin's Creed Odyssey" in Google's Chrome browser as part of what it called Project Stream. Google's push into game streaming follows traditional game developers who have seen major success in free-to-play online games like Epic Games' "Fortnite" and EA's "Apex Legends."

Project Stream relied on PlayStation or Xbox controllers if users wished to use a device to play the game. Google's new hardware would mean the company could sell controllers unique to its own service. Attendees of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco have speculated about Google's announcement at the event since it sent a mysterious invitation to media members, saying "all will be revealed" on March 19, The Verge reported Tuesday.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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