Google Announces "Project Stream" Service

Google announced “Project Stream” on Monday, a streaming service that lets people play video games straight from their Chrome browser.

Following reports from earlier in the year that suggested Google was considering expanding into gaming with a streaming service that would allow players to stream games as opposed to downloading them or owning a physical copy, Google’s announcement of Project Stream indicates that the reports held weight. Referring to streaming media as a “technically complex process,” Google’s announcement said that it’s next streaming efforts will be much more demanding than just streaming videos.

“We’ve been working on Project Stream, a technical test to solve some of the biggest challenges of streaming,” Google’s announcement said. “For this test, we’re going to push the limits with one of the most demanding applications for streaming—a blockbuster video game.”

The first game that people will be able to play through Project Stream is indeed a challenging one with Google announcing a partnership with Ubisoft to let people stream Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in their browsers. Ubisoft’s upcoming game that continues the AAA series releases on October 5th, and it can be played on that day through Google Chrome browsers, but only for a limited number of people who must first sign up here.

Saying that the new Project Stream service is part of Google’s efforts to build technology which supports and bolsters game creators’ efforts, the announcement also discussed some of the challenges that are associated with streaming a video game as opposed to a film or TV show.

“The idea of streaming such graphically-rich content that requires near-instant interaction between the game controller and the graphics on the screen poses a number of challenges. When streaming TV or movies, consumers are comfortable with a few seconds of buffering at the start, but streaming high-quality games requires latency measured in milliseconds, with no graphic degradation.”

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To provide a preview of the Project Stream service in action, Google’s video at the top shows the official gameplay capture from the new streaming service. The video indicates that the footage was recorded at 1080p at 60 fps through the Project Stream service, a video that shows the player moving seamlessly through Ancient Greece in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

Google hasn’t yet released details on how people can partake in the streaming service after the test on October 5th, but the announcement added that it's planning on taking feedback from the test.