Google is stepping into the console wars, with a report that follows the announcement of the Xbox One and the PS4. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google's game console will reportedly be powered by the company’s Android operating system.
Meanwhile, the Ouya -- a similar device running a modified version of the Android operating system -- has been released following its highly successful Kickstarter campaign, the second best in the crowd-funding website’s history. Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) will also release the Shield, a portable gaming device that allows users to play Android games, which is expected for release in July following a technical glitch.
Will the Google gaming console compete along the lines of lower-end devices like the Ouya? The next generation of high-end game consoles will include Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One, Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) and the Wii U from Nintendo. Consumers will have several options to choose from by year’s end, and all three high-end consoles involve television and cable integration, including the ability to change channels through voice and gesture controls. Will Google's game console do the same?
The company is also working on a follow-up to the Nexus Q, a video and music streaming device that was never released to consumers. Therefore, it is unlikely that they will offer two devices that offer the same integration with streaming video. However, both devices will have access through Android to the Google Play Store, where games, music, movies and TV shows purchased by Android users will be accessible.
Google’s gaming console will likely allow users to play games they purchased originally on the Play Store, and run them on their larger screen television. The Wall Street Journal also outlined challenges for Google’s game console in a blog post, mentioning exclusive games, such as the Halo series from Microsoft, or “The Last of Us” released exclusively on Sony’s PS3.
However, Google’s strength may lie in the company’s Play store, allowing players access to a library of previously-purchased games in addition to higher-end titles. Android devices run on the majority of smartphones worldwide, and if Mountain View’s upcoming game console can play both pre-purchased games in addition to those found on higher-end gaming consoles and PCs, such as “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” then they may have a foothold in the gaming world.