Google just announced “Project Stream,” a “technical test” of a service designed to stream AAA video games à la Playstation Now and GeForce Now. We’ve heard rumors of a “Project Yeti” gaming service for some time now, and this looks to be the first sign of a real “Google Gaming” product.
The Project Stream test will involve streaming Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to desktop-class Chrome browsers, which means it will work on Windows, macOS, Linux, and ChromeOS. Google’s blog post says that a “limited number of participants” will be able to try the game for free starting October 5. A 25Mbps Internet connection is “recommended” for the service, and you’ll need accounts with Google and Ubisoft. For controls, you have options of a keyboard and mouse or a USB (not Bluetooth) game controller. Google says a recent Xbox or Playstation controller will work fine. Provided you are 17 years or older and live in the US, you can sign up at projectstream.google.com.
Game-streaming services are still in their infancy, but the idea applies the standard “cloud computing” thinking to video games. Rather than have players buy and maintain their own expensive gaming hardware, game streaming offloads that compute work to the cloud and streams down only what you need (a video feed) over the Internet. When done correctly, the services allow for high-fidelity games on minimal hardware.