Later today, Google will hold a keynote at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) where the sultan of search is expected to unveil a new game streaming service. You can check it out right here, starting at 10 am PT (1 pm ET), as we have embedded the livestream below. Alternately, you can hit the link in the Via field below.
Either way, it should be an interesting keynote. There have been numerous leaks and rumors of what Google is about to announce. The prevailing theory being is that this will be a subscription-based streaming service, one that could possibly be distributed through a Chromecast device or even a console made directly by Google.
While a dedicated console is up in the air, it seems likely that Google will at least unveil a game controller. A recently published patent application shows what it might look like—there is a traditional D-pad, twin thumb sticks, four primary buttons, and four trigger buttons. There is also a Home button, along with a menu button, a Google button, and a microphone button on the controller.
Google's invite to the keynote does not provide any clues. It simply says, "Gather around." However, it's known that Google has been gathering up engineers for its in-house chip design, poaching talent from Intel, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm. Google also tested its Project Stream service, allowing gamers to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey inside a Chrome browser.
What Google has on tap for GDC is presumably something different. A name we have heard thrown around is Yeti, which could be a little confusing since one of the most popular microphones for streamers is also called Yeti.
This could also be an extension of Project Stream. The difficulty with game streaming is latency, and Google has undoubtedly been working since Project Stream went into beta last fall on working out the kinks and improving performance.
There could also be some nifty features unique to this service. For example, the folks at Kotaku say they've heard from from three different people that users will be able to download save files from where Twitch streamers are playing in a game. So, if a gamer is watching a Twitch streamer and the developer has enabled the feature, the gamer could buy the title, download a save file, and start playing from where the streamer was at in the game. They could also jump into a match with the streamer.
It's an interesting idea for sure. Whether it's actually part of the service, though, we will find out in just a few hours.