In short: Google’s rumored ‘Yeti’ gaming platform has now appeared in the Chromium Gerrit code review via comments within a code change in the Chromecast repository. The code specifically adds hard-coded corrections to audio and video syncing thresholds with developers discussing what impact the currently set value will have on the overall performance of ‘Yeti.’ The value is set to 100,000 with comments noting that some issues with the technology becoming apparent at just 50ms while it becomes unusable at 200ms. More directly, the discussion seems to center around audio glitches at the latter figure.
Background: The Yeti platform has previously been rumored as a three-part gaming solution centered around streaming video games. Hardware and a direct focus on Google-branding are two pieces of that puzzle but streaming is certainly what’s being addressed here since the commit is placed under the Chromecast branch. The apparent implication is that at least some of the search giant’s Chromecast devices, although it’s currently less clear which, will support Yeti when it finally launches. The reference to audio and video syncing is equally important since, historically, games with support for the platform have been buggy. Latency has also been a serious issue, rendering many titles completely unplayable and severely limiting the genres and play mechanics of those that have been released. By working out how those attributes should be set at a hardware level on the Chromecast to best serve titles, those problems will likely be solved.
Impact: There aren’t necessarily a lot of options with regard to where Google could be headed with regard to the inclusion of Chromecast devices in its Yeti project. Since this is thought to be a streaming platform for video games, the devices will most likely act as an intermediary between the service and a display. Whether that’s running on a smartphone, tablet, or through a connected web service remains to be seen. It is not likely that Google would opt for casting as a way to connect its own hardware. While there hasn’t necessarily been much by way of leaked information about the platform, directly plugging in with an HDMI cable from a Yeti console would be a much better option in almost any scenario.
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