Google is hard at work on a streaming service for video games, which will be similar to PlayStation Now, and will leverage its existing Chromecast HDMI dongle.
Ahead of the official announcement, a new patent (opens in new tab) has revealed the controller that will be used to interact with the Google-branded gaming service.
The patent document is for a notification system on the game controller that will let players know when a new title is available, when a new invitation has been received, or when there is a new request to chat. However, the patent also contains a slew of illustrations of the controller that will be used with the system.
These illustrations formed the basis of a series of lush high-resolution renders created by Twitter user @Reps (opens in new tab), which reveal what the finished product could look like. The resulting controller is a boxy design, and makes use of the red, yellow, green and blue colours in the Google logo.
The controller has a small button with an icon of a microphone, which suggests either voice commands or voice chat will play a large part. It seems likely that Google Assistant will play a large role, given the emphasis in other Google products.
The new streaming service, reportedly codenamed "Google Project Yeti" inside the company, could rival next-generation hardware from the likes of Sony and Microsoft.
The latter is widely-tipped to unveil a new console dubbed "Xbox One S All-Digital Edition", which will be available from mid-April, with the first units shipping in May ahead of the E3 games conference in June 2019.
Unlike earlier versions of the Xbox One S, the new variant will not have a disc drive. Instead, it will ship with games preinstalled, with customers able to pick from a range of titles during the check-out process.
The disc-less variant is also expected to be cheaper than the existing Xbox One S, since it ditches the cost of including a Blu-ray drive. The console is seen as a precursor to the forthcoming "Xbox Scarlett" – the codename for the next-generation of consoles that will stream games.
Later this month, Google will host a mysterious media event during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) which is expected to revolve around the streaming service likened to a “Netflix for games” that will be built on-top of the technology Google developed as part of its Project Stream trial last year.