Google looks to be another company interested in the gaming market. According to Jason Schreier of Kotaku, “Google is planning a game platform that could take on Xbox and PlayStation.” These are rumors but it seems very likely. Previously, they made strides to acquire Twitch before Amazon swooped in. Also, their incubated studio, Niantic, released the mega-hit that was Pokémon GOIt would make sense that their next venture may be a gaming console, however, it would not be feasible to enter the market. Game systems need quality exclusives, high graphics, and at least some sort of hook. If what these sources say are true, Google would not be able to compete.

Google Making A Gaming Console Is Not Feasible

Quality Exclusives

This generation has shown that gamers love their platform exclusive games. Sony fans have heralded the system for its exclusives such as God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawnand Uncharted 4. Nintendo’s Switch console has already had critically acclaimed exclusives from both The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario OdysseyThen there’s Microsoft’s Xbox One that has been panned for not supplying gamers with enough exclusives. If the Xbox brand is able to be bashed and ridiculed for this, how is Google to avoid it?

There are currently no first-party studios under their brand, so, for the time being, they will have to look for second party exclusives. This can help, but as Xbox has shown, it is easier said than done. Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive, and Ryse: Son of Rome were all second-party exclusives, but they did not garner the commercial success that was needed to sustain them. Google will have to spend a decent chunk of money on appealing to developers. However, what developer would want to test their chances on a brand new console with no userbase? Some Japanese developers and third-parties are hesitant to even release a game on the Xbox One due to its sales. Google’s system would have to fight the same battle, except without a devoted fanbase by its side.

High Graphics

As we approach the upcoming next generation of consoles, the push for true 4K gaming at 60 frames-per-second seems to be key. PlayStation released the powerful Pro system, while Xbox responded with their One X system. Both released at high price points that were not for casual audiences. At $399 and $499 respectively, casual fans have been forced to pick up the less powerful slim consoles. Google would have to keep up with this trend if they want to be deemed as a worthy competitor. Yet, without having any consumer confidence, how could they keep it at a reasonable price point. In order to solve this dilemma, it would seem that they are adopting an approach which involves streaming.

Streaming games are not something that gamers have been too fond of in recent memory. Capcom announced that Resident Evil 7 would make its way onto the Nintendo Switch in Japan, but with the catch that it would be available via streaming only. Many were quick to state how this is not a good approach while citing poor internet and always being online. If Google is to center a whole console around this concept, how would gamers react? Not so positively as it would seem. However, graphics don’t have to make or break a console. The Nintendo Switch is not able to run certain games due to its graphics, but what makes it so successful is its hook.

A Draw

The Nintendo Switch is such a massive success due to it being a hybrid system. This makes it appeal to all sorts of gamers, those that want to play at home as well as on-the-go. Graphics are not too big of an issue here because of its portability factor and because it runs on cartridges. Google doesn’t seem to have any sort draw just that it’s a streaming console. It is also said to be a download-only console. Physical game collectors will be turned off and those with bad internet will too.

Streaming would be a cool feature to have, but if that’s all there is to offer then it isn’t much. Xbox and PlayStation have a history in the console market that make them more appealing to fans. Google has never released a system before so it would be difficult for gamers to hop aboard with little incentive. If this was Sega, maybe nostalgia would kick-in but for a company like Google, it doesn’t seem likely.

No Room in the Market

There are already three major competitors which occupy the gaming sphere, a fourth would just be lost in the mix. Four consoles have not been a central focus since 2001. Yet, this was the year that the Sega Dreamcast was discontinued. Before then, it wasn’t unusual to have multiple companies releasing consoles. For instance, the fifth generation which occurred before the Dreamcast’s release, featured the Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, PlayStation 1, Panasonic 3DO, Commodore Amiga CD32, Atari Jaguar, and the Apple Pippin. There was so much choice that only the first three mentioned were able to head into the sixth generation. Many of these failed because of the above-mentioned points regarding exclusives, graphics, and a hook. Having too many consoles oversaturates the market which means that someone is due to fail. Google doesn’t have enough market share in the gaming realm to sustain a console.

Google joining the console market doesn’t seem like it would be a good idea. There isn’t enough market share for another competitor. Not only this but the graphics won’t be able to compete with 4K 60FPS, it can also be hindered by a poor internet connection. Even if it doesn’t have stellar graphics, there isn’t a draw that will make gamers want to pick it up. If they want to avoid being treated as an Ouya, this system, codenamed “Yeti”, has a lot of work that needs to be done.

About The Author

Executive Editor

Related Posts