Google if you haven’t noticed are entering many different areas of technology. Heard of their Nexus line-up of mobile devices? They have the Google Chromebook and apparently are set to introduce something called Androidbook as well. There is Google TV which isn’t exactly a Google device per se, but there are non Google branded set top boxes, televisions and blu-ray players featuring Google TV. Google is also getting into fibre. If you can’t tell, Google is far more than just a search engine these days. Sorry to state the obvious but I haveÂ a point.
In the past week, Microsoft introduced the Xbox One aka XB1 next generation console which will be released in Fall 2013. The Sony Playstation 4 is also coming in Fall 2013. In case you haven’t heard, there are rumblings about the price of games for these next generation consoles. Worse for gamers is the fact that there is something going on with used games on both Xbox One and PS4. Let’s just say there is a lot of vagueness from Microsoft who seem to be delaying an official statement until E3 when Sony is set to officially release information and a peek at the PS4 console. With bad news, it’s best to delay and it’s best to have more than just yourself to take the heat. This would be my conclusion for the mystery and lack of forthcoming information about used games and the price of new games. You would think logically that if the games are $10 to $20 more than the going rate of $60 for this current generation consoles, that the used game market would absolutely flourish. Face it. Used games and the game retail outlets offering used games and trade-ins aren’t helping the developers make money. So when the price increases on games for the Xbox One and PS4 we have a problem don’t we? It would appear from my view that a strategy needed to be in place to preserve profit (not knocking that because developers make amazing games for us to play) and to essentially stunt the growth of the used game market. Speculation on my part but something fishy is going on in my opinion.
So after that rambling, what does it have to do with a Google gaming console? Dare I say a lot. I would suggest that when there was a time to strike, now would be it. There have already been a couple Android gaming console projects in the recent past. The reason it makes sense for Google is because they could create an entertainment hub which is essentially what the PS4 and Xbox One are becoming. They are “smart” gaming consoles and Android is the ideal fit. I just think that cost is going to play the biggest role in the future of gaming. Mobile games are cheap! Are these games enough to base a gaming console on? Not exactly but consider Android games a growth industry. Android games are built for touch but I’m sure you could see avenues for developers. How about your smartphone screen becoming the touchscreen for your game on the television? The question of monetizing in creative ways comes to mind, but companies like Rockstar have released versions of Grand Theft Auto on iOS and Android. Certainly that bodes well for the future.
I just think that Google can come into the gaming market with a much cheaper price point. It could be pretty drastic actually based on what we’re not hearing in the XB1 and PS4 used games secrecy. Playing Android games cross platform is going to create a far vaster user base. To me there is a huge opportunity especially when you consider that Google has identified and improved online multiplayer in Android. The constant threat to Sony and Microsoft is going to be the mobile gaming market. It’s going to be harder and harder to sell the public on paying big prices on games. Some games will do well no doubt, but the most costs in development, the more risk and the more units sold for the developers to make money. If developers start losing profit, they may end up moving to Android and or iOS and taking their chances there.
There has been NO rumors regarding a Google gaming console thus far. At the recent Google I/O, Google spent a good portion of time talking about the vast improvements to their gaming aspects of Android, especially regarding online multiplayer. In addition they hired Noah Falstein who has worked with Lucas Arts, 3DO, and Dreamworks Interactive. His job title is Google chief games designer. No word on what he’s doing exactly so you’ll have to use your imagination. Gaming related clearly.
Google is covering most of the popular categories like smartphones, tablets, and laptops already, so why not a gaming console that can double as a smart tv set top box?