In Review

Google Yeti news and rumours: livestream, games and specs

With just hours to go before the Silicon Valley giant unveils its new service, here’s everything we know so far

Keen to diversify its revenue sources, Google is gearing up to present its rival to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco later today.

The search giant’s first foray into the games market, codenamed “Yeti”, is believed to be a streaming service that will allow gamers to play titles over the internet in real time. 

Other details about Yeti are scarce, but rumours suggest that Google has partnered up with some of the industry’s biggest game publishers to release titles on the search firm’s gaming service. 

All will be revealed when the company’s conference gets underway at 5pm.

For now, here’s everything we know so far about Google’s game service:

How to watch the console’s reveal live

There are two options. Fans can either watch the stream when it goes live at 5pm UK time (10am local) through the linked video above, or via Google’s YouTube channel.

What is Yeti?

Simply put, Google’s Yeti is a video game service that’s set to rival the game services of industry giants such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. 

The system will reportedly use Google’s “Project Stream” technology, which allows users to play games in web browsers. This implies the console will allow players to stream titles over the internet, according to the Daily Express

Most of the rumours suggest that Yeti is a streaming service similar to Netflix, where users pay a monthly fee to play computer games over the internet either through a web browser or a smartphone app, The Daily Telegraph says. 

While the paper believes that a physical console is “unlikely”, given the sheer dominance of Sony’s PS4, Microsoft’s Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch, a number of reports suggest that Google will launch a controller to complement the service. 

Digital images of a Google-themed controller have been circulating online in recent weeks. The gaming news site Kotaku says that the joy pad could be part of the streaming mechanism.

“We’re not sure how the controller will work, but it may allow you to use Google’s streaming platform on a television even if you don’t have any other hardware hooked up”, the website says. 

There’s a chance Google will launch a “low-cost console” that users can plug into their TVs, the Daily Mail says. 

What games will it have?

Reports emerged last week that Google would be teaming up with one of the gaming industry’s biggest names.

Sega, which stopped producing consoles in the early 2000s following lacklustre sales of the Dreamcast, is allegedly partnering up with Google to launch games exclusive to the streaming service, according to the gaming YouTube channel Spawn Wave. 

It’s been a while since the Japanese games giant announced a new entry in its Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Only two titles – Team Sonic Racing and Judgment – are due to launch on the PS4 and Xbox One later this year, says GameRant

This makes the rumour “somewhat easier to believe than it would be otherwise”, but the YouTube channel’s claims should still be taken with a pinch of salt, says the website.

There’s a strong possiblity mainstream titles will appear on the service. Google began trialling its Project Stream browser tech in October last year when players were able to stream Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on their computers. 

More details about the games on offer are expected to be announced later today. In the meantime, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and other mainstream titles look set to feature in the service.

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