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Chromium commit brings first public name drop of Google’s ‘Yeti’ game streaming service

A report in February said that Google was quietly working on a video game streaming service, codenamed Yeti, to rival PlayStation Now and Nvidia GeForce Now. Now, a mention of Yeti popped up this afternoon in an interesting place — the public Chromium source.

Not much is known about the technical aspects of Yeti, but one reported iteration was powered by Chromecast. That in mind, it comes as no surprise to us that the first ever public mention of the Yeti — to our knowledge, at least — has been found in Chromecast-related code.

Here’s the full text of the code comment:

seems kind of high, I think a/v sync issues become pretty noticeable at 50ms or so (according to Yeti folks)

In an argument against the threshold for “hard correction” being 100ms, Googler Ken MacKay offers that the Yeti team considers even 50ms too high.

Anyone who has played Rock Band or Guitar Hero on a newer TV knows what’s being talked about here. If audio and video are too far out of sync, games can become nearly unplayable. In the case of Rock Band, this is user configured, but this Chromecast code seems to deal with automatically compensating for synchronization issues over a certain threshold.

Chromium commit referencing Yeti

It may not seem like much, but there’s two things we can gleam from this little statement — Yeti is 100% real (not that was doubted), and the Chromecast team is (or was) closely involved. Bringing in the Chromecast team makes a great deal of sense, considering one report of Yeti described it as “Imagine playing The Witcher 3 within a tab on Google Chrome.” Chromecast works on a very similar principle, leveraging Chrome to open a webpage with your cast content.

Since February, a few more details have been reported including Google gauging developer interest at the annual Game Developers Conference, hiring an industry veteran, and even suggesting the outright purchase of a game development company.

As an aside, we’ve heard rumors that Google has a couple different prototype boxes in the works. One of which is based on Android, and another is based on, you guessed it, Fuchsia. The “cast shell” for Chromecast is even currently being ported to Fuchsia, though that may simply be for Fuchsia’s Google Home-like prototype ‘Gauss‘.

9to5Google’s Take

This is just yet another confirmation that Yeti is real — and still around, to boot.

Two major players (and many minor ones) already have a foothold in the game streaming market. It seemed strange to me, at first, that Google would intend on trying to push its way in. However, the convenience and ubiquity of Chrome and Chromecast could certainly justify their place, if that is indeed the tech they intend to leverage.

Either way, it has to be better than Skyrim for Alexa.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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