Tell GR | Could a Google console compete with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo?

It’s rumored that a Google gaming console will be announced at GDC 2019. A patent for a controller has already surfaced this week, and the tech giant has announced plans for a major keynote in which it will likely make a big announcement. Google entering the console market has been the subject of speculation for a while now, but this month we could finally see what the company has up its sleeve.

So what does that mean for the gaming industry? Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have remained the three big players in the market for a while now, so Google stepping up to the plate would certainly be an interesting development. The GameRevolution team have outlined their thoughts below; as always you can share own opinions in the comments section, and we’ll feature our favorite in tomorrow’s Tell GR.

Paul Tamburro, executive editor: “I don’t think Google is going to compete for the same space as Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo. Setting up a brand new platform would be a huge risk that, in an age when mobile gaming is raking in money by the boatload, Google doesn’t really need to take. Google would effectively need to lure major exclusive studios to make its own console work, most of which are already tied up with the “big three,” or it would need a stellar gimmick to be seen as an attractive alternative. If it implemented its Project Stream technology, it’d still be competing with Microsoft and its game streaming plans for the next Xbox, so it trying to become a major home console player would be an unnecessary gamble.”

Mack Ashworth, lead editor: “I think Google’s angle would have to be as a streaming system. Utilize Android to make its own “console,” like what Nvidia has done with the Shield TV. If they market it with the “Pixel” name, I think it would do really well. As for competing with actual consoles/PCs, I imagine they have the budget to eventually make a splash, but I doubt they’d want to take that chance.”

Michael Leri, features editor: “It would be easy to say Google couldn’t but it would also be easy in 2000 to say Microsoft couldn’t make a console that would go on to beef it in two of the last three generations. I’m being slightly cheeky but the Xbox has been incredibly successful and was the underdog at the turn of the century. Google is that underdog and has the money to possibly push forward. With Google’s streaming approach, it could be a huge leap into playing games in a new way or a spirited, if failed, step necessary to get there.”

Bradley Russell, news editor: “Of course, a Google console could compete, although four main consoles facing off is overkill and, to my knowledge, has never been a success. So, would there be much point? SEGA, for example, took a big hit in the 1990s just going up against Nintendo and Sony in a crowded market, and I feel like things are too entrenched and set in their ways now for Google to really make a dent. It’d need a killer app, a Half-Life 3 or some such, to make an impact and, right now, I don’t think it’d offer much outside of what we’re already getting.”

Yesterday’s best comment

Question: What controversial game didn’t deserve its backlash? 

boba1701: Hands down the answer is Mass Effect 3. If people just complained about the ending, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but it brought a spotlight on the worst behavior you could find in entitled gamers. Non-stop complaining, trying to force Bioware to change the ending (and succeeding!), the freakin lawsuits. The worst part is that it’s actually a really good game, best in the series in my opinion. I guarantee any new gamers playing the series today would not understand at all why the backlash was so huge.”