Google’s plans to offer some sort of streaming game service or console have been rumored for a while, but today, the company has officially announced what it’s calling “Project Stream.” The first test of the technology will begin on Oct. 5, with selected participants given the chance to stream and play through Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey in their Google Chrome browser during the trial period, which Google says will last until mid-January of 2019.
You can see a video of the game being played in 1080p at 60 fps, reportedly streaming, at the top of this post.
“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’s Catherine Hsiao wrote in a blog post. “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.”
You can sign up for possible inclusion in the test, but you’ll need to fulfill the following requirements:
- A Google account (Not compatible with Google for Work, Google for Education, and certain other managed Google accounts.)
- An Ubisoft account
- A computer with a recent version of Chrome (version 69 and higher); update your Google Chrome browser if needed (The Chrome browser on mobile is not supported)
- A reliable internet connection (25 Mbps is recommended)
- A wired USB controller or external mouse (optional); a laptop’s trackpad isn’t recommended
While you don’t need to own a copy of the game for the free test, there are some limitations to gameplay. Google said that you won’t be able to take part in the game’s economy, although you may be given free credits with which to buy items.
“Some features of the Game may be limited or unavailable during your use of Project Stream,” the terms of service state. “For example, you will not be able to make purchases for in-game content or in-game items other than with the free credits, if any, with which you have been provided. Additionally, we may limit the number of people who can play the Game through Project Stream at any one time.”
Project Stream may not ultimately be limited to just video games, but being able to stream a game this graphically rich with playable latency on residential, if speedy, internet connections would be a large accomplishment. We’ll have more on Project Stream when it becomes available.