The stage is set for Google to introduce what it promises will be “the future of gaming” at the 2019 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. Google’s event is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. Eastern and it’s expected to shed light on the tech company’s video game streaming service and a low-cost console, a duo that’s become known as Project Stream and Project Yeti.
Google’s keynote is likely to be the headline event at GDC, a video game expo that has a reputation for being relatively sleepy (last year, along with a few game launches, the biggest story was likely the first publicly available demos of the Oculus Go).
This year is expected to be a little different. While there’s always the chance that Google Project Stream could be a dud, what Google seems to be promising — access to AAA titles without buying disks or cartridges, using only a Wifi connection and a low-cost console — is indeed nearing its launch, it’s a product development that could transform the industry.
Google Project Stream: How to Live Stream
After public beta testing, Google’s Netflix-for-gaming is expected to be ready for market. The main question ahead of today’s announcement is whether a glimpse of its complementary console is also on the docket. The entirety of the event will be streamed on Google’s YouTube channel. Viewers can set a reminder by hitting the bell button at the bottom of the video if they don’t want to miss a minute of the announcement.
Google Project Stream: When to Watch
The event is scheduled to being at 10 a.m. Pacific, or 1 p.m. Eastern. For gamers across the globe, Google will take the stage at the following times to reveal its Project Stream Updates:
- 5 p.m. British
- 6 p.m. Central European
- 1 a.m. on Wednesday in China
- 2 a.m. on Wednesday in Japan
- 4 a.m. on Wednesday in Australia
Google Project Stream: What to Expect
A beta version of Project Stream was already tested in October of last year, in a trial that lasted until January 15, 2019. It gave testers a chance to play a full version of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey from their browsers, no downloading or installing required, and early adopters responded positively. The fact that the trial went so well helps explain why many analysts believe Google is set to announce a subscription cost for Project Stream as well as a price for its minimalist console.
Daniel Yount, an iOS developer who participated in the beta test, expects the service to cost $15 per month” along with “a $100 “streaming box.” But he expects it to rely on wired connection to offset latency and connection issues that could arise when streaming games over wifi.
Some other hints come from Google’s outdoor display at GDC 2019, which includes an exhibit of some other classic consoles that dreamed big (perhaps too big), like the Atari 2600 and the Nintendo Power Glove. The final box in the installation has a note card reading “Coming soon,” which seems to allude to the fact Google will unveil its Project Yeti console.
While a peak of the new console-like product has seemed increasingly likely as the event approaches, it may underwhelm. Kotaku news editor Jason Schreier says that while Google may announce its very own video game titles, which he says the company has funded, he expects Project Yeti to be something as small as a “dongle” or perhaps even a controller.
The time has come for Google’s gaming foray to kick into high geer. If it indeed offers an affordable path to AAA gaming, it could change the gaming industry for good.