Streaming full 3D games over a high-speed web connection is a fast growing trend. And with ridiculous amounts of infrastructure and remote computing power, Google is well equipped to join it.
That’s the gist behind Project Stream, the web giant’s latest foray into the consumer market. Google will stream Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the latest entry in Ubisoft’s long-running stab-em-up series, to Chrome browsers on desktops and laptops. Aside from a small client program, you won’t need the usual gigabytes of local storage or beefy PC hardware to play: it’s all running on Google’s remote systems. The beta test of the service will begin this Friday, October 5th, and it’ll be playable on Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS.
Assassin’s Creed is one of the biggest game franchises around, and its newest entry takes full advantage of the hardware in the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the latest gaming PCs. Google is probably going to be using server farms running standard gaming PC hardware with some virtualization tech thrown in to manage thousands of concurrent players, the same way NVIDIA does with its GameStream service. Like similar offerings from NVIDIA and Sony, you’ll need a fast and reliable internet connection in order to play: Google is recommending 25mbps minimum.
Unfortunately there are limited spots available for the initial beta, and Google is only using the one game for the testing period (at least at the moment). But players who get in will be able to check out the game—a $60 retail value—for free. If you want in, head to this Google site to sign up for the waiting list. You need to be located in the United States and at least 17 years old in order to qualify.
Google’s long-term plans are hard to pin down, but if they’re ready for a public beta test, it’s safe to assume they’re interested in expanding Project Stream into a full consumer product. It’ll be interesting to see how that would compete with fledgling game streaming services already in operation, and if Google could cultivate the wide array of developer and publisher agreements needed to make it a success.