Google Announces 'Project Stream' Service, Streaming Games to Your Chrome Browser
It's been reported for a while now that Google has been planning on getting into the games industry in a number of ways. Most glaringly, their mysterious and rumored new console. The company has even gone on to hire some industry veterans, including the creator of PSVR. Today, Google decided to unveil the first of its gaming plans by taking on game streaming, a topic that has become more popular as of late. Their new service, simply entitled Project Stream, will enable gamers to stream the latest video games right to their Google Chrome Internet browser. The first game to support this service will be Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, which is set to release this Friday on October 5th. The service will become available that day too, but only for selected beta testers.
Essentially, it's like playing a full-fledged video game in a tab on your Chrome browser. Streaming discards the physical process of retail gaming and the storage process of digital gaming, instead going for a middle route that's also highly accessible for those who normally wouldn't have a platform that supports the game. It's a service that has grown in the spotlight lately; Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version was a streamable version of RE7 that released on Switch in Japan not too long ago, just as an example. This past E3, multiple industry heads discussed the potential of game streaming, including Xbox's Phil Spencer and Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot. That latter one is of particular note, as he and Ubisoft are fully on board this new partnership with Google to give other people a new way to play their games. "Google's Project Stream, the Ubisoft Platform Infrastructure, and the efforts of other companies will help unlock that potential," stated Ubisoft. "and break down barriers that once prevented many from playing and enjoying our games."
If you want to become a beta participant for Project Stream yourself, there are a few requirements you'll need to meet. Account-wise, you'll need accounts on both Google and Ubisoft. Naturally, you'll also need to be sporting a Google Chrome Internet browser. Your connection must be 25 Mbps or higher, and you have to be a resident of the United States at 17 years old or older. If you fulfill all of these requirements, there's a sign-up page where you can get started with registering. Once the 5th arrives and the beta testing begins, the test will last until sometime in the middle of January in 2019. It's not yet known how quality the streaming service will be, and its level of fidelity likely depends on your own connection speeds. The trailer Google put out for Assassin's Creed: Odyssey today demonstrates the game being played at 1080p/60fps while streaming. If it works as it should, it will certainly be a big step forward. Keep in mind that some features in Odyssey will be limited during the testing, like purchasing in-game items only with free credits that are provided to you. The number of players allowed may also shift if Google needs to do so.
Google describes Project Stream as "a technical test to solve some of the biggest challenges of streaming. For this test, we're going to push the limits with one of the most demanding applications for streaming - a blockbuster video game." This seems to imply the company may push Project Stream into other areas of media down the line, such as TV, music, or movies. While the experience of streaming a current-day AAA game in your browser might not completely stack up to the versions you're getting on console/PC, it definitely adds further approachability to games for people of all kinds. Time will tell how it takes off, and how it may or may not affect what consoles do with the service as well. If you want to read Google's full announcement for Project Stream, you can do so on their official blog. If you're feeling more like watching, then check below here for the official Project Stream gameplay capture video, which shows Assassin's Creed: Odyssey in action through this service. Odyssey will also be available on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.