The video game landscape is pretty diverse. You have consoles pushing 4K and portables capable of next generation graphics. In addition to home consoles, you have mobile phones, and PCs. Basically if you want to game, there’s probably a console to suit your interest.
But even with all that diversity there seems to be room for only a couple of machines to game on. And that’s been the case for 20 years. Speaking specifically to consoles, there has been 3 consoles. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Any talk of a 4th console is met with high skepticism.
During the Wii U lifespan, people suggested that Nintendo should abandon hardware all together and focus on bringing their games to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Those suggestions have died down after the Switch and it’s possible that unless Nintendo somehow loses all their momentum that we won’t hear it again for 5 or six years.
So you can understand why anytime a new console from an Unproven manufacturer is rumored or announced, people immediately doubt the potential before it even hits the market. And for the most part they’re right. The Ouya was overhyped, the Coleco Chameleon was a fraud and the Atari VCS is somewhere in the middle right now.
But what about an established company throwing their hat in the ring? There are substantial rumors that suggest Google will be coming out with a console to rub elbows with the big 3.
The Yeti will probably be an addon for your PC to boost the capability and stream games to the device.
The most exciting part is that it will be a physical console that you buy at the store next to the Xbox.
Assuming that everything rumored about the Yeti is substantial, how well will it do in the console space?
The Yeti is far from coming to the market. We’ll probably see it in 2020. And it’s hard to think of what the landscape will look like at the time but I think it’s poised to disrupt the gaming market.
And the reason for that is the future is digital. Microsoft and Sony know this. They just can’t get you to stop buying the damn discs. Google coming out with an all digital console is perfect because there’s no preconceived notion of what a Google console can be. Having a subscription model that offers streamed high definition games to a tiny box is likely to go over much better than Microsoft and Sony releasing a PlayStation or Xbox without a disc drive and going all digital.
Plus google can make this thing cost next to nothing and still make a ton of money. Look at the google home assistant – it’s a speaker that you can talk to and for a while it only cost 30 bucks. They want you to have them in your home because they know in the long term you’ll buy into their ecosystem.
I would assume that Google could get away with charging $150 dollars for this thing in 2020 with a 20 dollar a month subscription service and it would sell like gangbusters. A cheap console that’s capable of 4k gaming that’s easy to use with a low cost of entry? Sign me up.
Think of what Amazon did to the big box stores. They created a new business model from the ground up and were able to dominate the internet shopping market before stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Sears had their morning coffee. Everybody is trying to catch up and Amazon is bigger than ever focusing on media consumption and now entering the pharmaceutical space.
Google can do just as much damage to Microsoft and Sony’s market share. Sony and Microsoft are old dogs in the gaming console scene. They put out roughly the same console strategy every generation. It’s been 20 years since this has been the case and we’re just about due for another market shift.
Or it could just be a dud like the other “killer” apps that Google has had. Remember the Facebook killer Google +? Or what about their Twitter competitor Buzz? But I think Google has learned a lot since then. Their Pixel line has proven they can step out from the crowded market and deliver a premium experience without breaking the bank.