Google's Project Stream: Chrome becomes testbed for game streaming services

Google has teamed up with Ubisoft to offer Assassin's Creed Odyssey gameplay on the browser.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Google has revealed Project Stream, a test for cloud-based game streaming services in the Chrome browser.

On Monday, the tech giant said that a new partnership with Ubisoft will bring Assassin's Creed Odyssey to the Chrome browser -- at least, to US residents -- from October 5.

Google has been working on Project Stream for some time in an effort to resolve some of the technical challenges posed by game streaming, such as video quality degradation, frame skipping, and buffering.

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A delay of a few seconds when you are watching streamed content such as television shows or films is not generally a big deal, but when it comes to gaming -- especially if there are live participants and viewers -- a few seconds can cause graphics issues and lag.

"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," Google says. "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."

Odyssey has been selected as it is graphically intensive and streaming requires the support of massive attention to detail for both the characters and environment in the game.

"Streaming holds tremendous potential," Ubisoft says. "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."

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Google has other services which touch upon the now lucrative gameplay and game live-streaming market. The firm's YouTube acquisition, years past, opened the door to countless YouTubers who earned themselves a dedicated following by posting and streaming game reviews, playthroughs, and more.

It was rumored several years ago that YouTube may be seeking the purchase of rival Twitch, a dedicated live stream platform. However, Twitch was snapped up by Amazon.

There is now a back-and-forth between some YouTube gamers, of whom some are choosing to transfer over to Twitch entirely due to revenue generation and advertising requirement challenges.

Potential issues with retaining Internet personalities in the gaming field has not deterred Google, however, with the company hosting an annual Indie Games Festival and the Change the Game program, an initiative designed to bring more women into the world of mobile game development.

In order to participate in Project Stream, you have to apply through the Project Stream website and you should have an Internet connection capable of at least 25 MB/S.

Participants must also have both a Google and Ubisoft account as well as an updated version of the Chrome browser (version 69+). Wired USB controllers are supported.

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If you are interested, you should apply quickly as there will only be a limited amount of participants. However, as Chrome is now the acting testbed to iron out kinks in streaming technologies, we may see a public and commercial version in the future.

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