Google has announced a new initiative called Project Stream that aims to smoothly stream HD video games to players via the company's Chrome internet browser. This would mark one of the biggest attempts Google has made to enter the gaming market thus far, especially if it turns out to be a successful alternative for third party developers and publishers looking to release a typically console-focused games to a larger audience. It would also mean that most devices capable of a steady internet connection and running Google Chrome could be turned into gameplay streaming hubs.
The ambition of this endeavor is striking, but also faces some significant hurdles. Specifically, consistently running smooth, HD graphics via stream poses pretty big problems using current technologies. The requirement of high-speed broadband internet could limit the availability of Project Stream for people in the general market as will the need to be close to Google's data centers (for now). Latency has long been another factor holding streamed games back from reaching their full potential in the United States with its lagging internet infrastructure. Finally, part of Project Stream will be dedicated to figuring out exactly how costly running such a service might be to Google.
If it can figure out a way to make the tech work and it finds a market among gamers, the floodgates will open for Google-powered services to take on gaming applications like Google's Cloud or Daydream VR equipment. It would also offer the chance for Google to enter the digital game storefront business, competing directly with the likes of Steam and Good Old Games for exclusives and sales prices.
Those who find the idea intriguing and are 17 years or older can sign up for a beta trail of the service which will allow those selected to stream Assassin's Creed Odyssey to Google Chrome. There will be no charges for the beta though they do recommend an internet connection that holds at 25Mbps download speeds. The test will start on October 5 and the number of participants will be limited.
This seems pretty neat and, if you have a solid enough internet connection, a good way to possibly play Assassin's Creed Odyssey for free.
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!