Google announced Project Stream. It is a new video game streaming service designed to allow high-end PC and console games to be played through Chrome. You can sign up for Project Stream now to test out the service, and there’s no concrete launch or release date yet. The first game that will be playable on Project Stream is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey from Ubisoft. The game is officially available on October 5 and it will be playable via Chrome with Project Stream. No end date for this Project Stream test has yet been revealed. To access Project Stream, you must reside in the United States and have a 25 Mbps connection to a computer running Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, or Linux. The company recommends using a controller such as the PS4 DualShock 4 controller or Xbox One controller.
“The idea of delivering such graphics-rich content that requires near-instantaneous interaction between the game controller and on-screen graphics poses a number of challenges,” writing Catherine Hsiao, Google Product Manager, in a post on the company’s blog that details the reasons for choosing a game like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. “When streaming TV or movies, consumers are comfortable with a few seconds of buffering at first, but high-quality game streaming requires latency measured in milliseconds, with no graphical degradation.”
It’s unclear if Project Stream is related to Yeti, a rumored streaming service underway at Google that could include a controller and console. It might also work with Google Chromecast. According to The Information, the search giant is planning a serious foray into game streaming, which is currently a nascent market.
This won’t be the only version of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey available via a streaming service. The Japan-exclusive Nintendo Switch version is another. As such, it has its own tariff structure: JPY 730 (about Rs. 470) per day or JPY 8,400 (about Rs. 5,440) for two years. If you’re wondering what’s up with the latter, that’s because it’s getting closer to the game’s full price on other platforms: JPY 9,072 on PS4 and Xbox One. It is the second game to use streaming on the Nintendo Switch, the first being Resident Evil 7.
It’s no coincidence, then, that Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot talked about the benefits of game streaming ahead of this announcement, going so far as to say that the PS5 and upcoming Xbox are the latest generation of consoles.
“I think we will see another generation, but there is a good chance that over time we will see less and less material”, Guillemot noted at Variety. “Over time, I think streaming will become more accessible to many gamers and there will be no need for big hardware at home.
“There will be another generation of consoles and after that we will be streaming, all of us.”
According to him, the ability to stream AAA games to more screens was one of the biggest innovations to come to the gaming industry.
“It’s going to help the AAA game industry grow much faster,” he said. “We need to work on the accessibility of these games, to make sure they can be played on any device, but the fact that we’ll be able to stream these games to mobile phones and TV screens without a console is going to change. a lot of things in the industry.”
He thinks experiences like Nvidia’s GeForce Now will continue to evolve and become legitimate options.
“There are quite a few people working on streaming, like Nvidia,” Guillemot said. “So we think it’s a trend and it will continue to evolve. Eventually, the technology will improve dramatically, which will allow us to have a very seamless experience in major cities around the world.”
In his vision for the future, he believes streaming will ultimately be better than using a console or PC.
“The technology is actually going in that direction. The machines will be more powerful and the data transfer system will be more efficient, so at some point we’ll have a better experience streaming something than having to buy a machine and changing the machine regularly,” Guillemot said in a conversation with IGN.
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