Google plans big gaming news at GDC, will Microsoft respond?

Google is apparently planning to make some big gaming announcements at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in March. The company sent media invites today for a press event on March 19, and it all seems like the keynote will be about Google’s new Project Stream game streaming platform (via Gameindustry.biz).

“All will be revealed at the Google Keynote,” the invitation says, and Google also included a mysterious GIF showing a bright light at the end of a dark hallway. Google previously tested Project Stream last fall, allowing select Google Chrome users to play Ubisoft’s latest Assassin’s Creed game right in the web browser. The service made quite a good impression at the time, and it looks like Google seems well positioned to compete with Sony’s Playstation Now service as well as Microsoft’s Project xCloud.

Microsoft will also have a big presence at GDC next month, with a session dedicated to Project xCloud. “This talk will go deeper on how developers can get their console games to adapt to a mobile world,” the session description reads. Last year, the Redmond giant previously explained that its game streaming platform will be able to bring all existing Xbox games to mobile devices without developers having to modify game code.

Project xCloud is expected to launch in public beta this year, but maybe Google’s obvious interest in game streaming will force to accelerate rollout plans. A true Netflix-like service for video games is probably years away, but this competition between tech giants should be very good for consumers and the video games industry.

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Do you think this new competition from Google will push Microsoft to accelerate on Project xCloud?