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Google has just stepped into the gaming-service arena. The company has revealed Project Stream. This is a test for its cloud-streaming platform. Think about Zeus rendering frames and throwing those at your laptop instead of lighting bolts. And I’m making that analogy because Google is testing the service with Ubisoft’s Greek role-playing adventure, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.
Rumors have repeatedly surfaced about Google’s plans to get into gaming. This is the result of those moves.
“Project Stream is geared toward home internet connections capable of 25 megabits per second,” Google manager Catherine Hsiao wrote in a blog post. “For this test, we’re going to push the limits with one of the most demanding applications for streaming — a blockbuster video game.”
Google did not announce details of a consumer platform. Instead, it just wants to find and eliminate the pain points of streaming. To solve those issues, it needs enough people in its trial. That’s where Ubisoft comes in.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey requires an expensive console or PC to run. But it also has mass appeal. People may want to experience even if they don’t spend money on hardware. So they may rush to this test to play Odyssey for free. It doesn’t hurt that the game is excellent.
“We’ve partnered with one of the most innovative and successful video game publishers, Ubisoft, to stream their soon-to-be released Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to your Chrome browser on a laptop or desktop,” Hsiao explained. “Starting on October 5, a limited number of participants will get to play the latest in this best-selling franchise at no charge for the duration of the Project Stream test.”
More than games
Project Stream is focusing on games, but it has a much wider scope, according to Google.
“Streaming media has transformed the way we consume music and video, making it easy to instantly access your favorite content,” said Hsiao. “It’s a technically complex process that has come a long way in a few short years, but the next technical frontier for streaming will be much more demanding than video.”
Google is starting with Odyssey because a game is computationally intensive. It is also easy to notice any flaws or lag in the streaming with a game. And, again, this is about eliminating those flaws.
For Ubisoft, meanwhile, this is about getting to a future where it can reach a new audience without having to go through hardware platforms.
“Streaming holds tremendous potential,” reads a Ubisoft blog. “Google’s Project Stream, the Ubisoft Platform Infrastructure, and the efforts of other companies will help unlock that potential and break down barriers that once prevented many from playing and enjoying our games.”
This isn’t Ubisoft’s only foray into the cloud. The French publisher is also releasing a streaming version of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch in Japan.
You can sign up to participate in Project Stream by clicking here.
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