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Google's Big Gaming Plans Revealed Early: Don't Expect a Console

Google is planning a big gaming announcement for Tuesday (Mar. 19) that could change the way you play video games. But a new report suggests it might not be what some in the rumor mill had expected.

Credit: Sarang Sheth

(Image credit: Sarang Sheth)

When Google announces its new gaming platform on Tuesday, it won't unveil a console, according to Kotaku. Instead, the gaming site, which is citing sources who claim to have knowledge of Google's plans, believes the search giant will instead deliver a new game-streaming platform.

According to Kotaku's sources, the streaming will be similar to Google's Project Stream, which allowed players last year to play an Assassin's Creed game in full resolution by streaming it from Google's servers.

According to Kotaku's sources, Google balked at a console because it wanted gamers to play titles on a variety of platforms instead of just one. The sources envision players being able to pick up a game on a PC or Mac and then move to the television to keep playing. Games would also be accessible on smartphones.

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Arguably the most compelling feature in the proposed platform is that you'll be able to play in high-resolution regardless of the hardware you're on. That's because the service would run on Google's servers, which would handle all the heavy lifting.

According to Kotaku's sources, Google might have some other big plans for its service. Chief among them is a feature that would allow you to watch a Twitch streamer playing the game and then let you pick up where that person left off, so you can experience the same part of the game. Google might also try to integrate YouTube into the service and give you access to walkthroughs in the parts you're playing.

As ambitious as that sounds, other companies have tried game streaming and have yet to catch on. In the home-gaming market, PCs and consoles still reign supreme. But Google apparently believes it can buck that trend.

Google will make its announcement at the Game Developers Conference on Tuesday. The company's keynote will kick off at 1 p.m. ET and we'll be there to bring you live coverage from GDC.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.