Stream Assassin’s Creed Odyssey with Google’s new Project Stream initiative

Google Project Stream is a brand-new initiative from the Californian company aimed at bringing big-budget video games right into your home without a console.

Announced in a Google blog post, Project Stream is an effort by the company to stream video games to your computer in much the same way as Netflix and Spotify do with video and music. However, Google isn’t committing to the Project just yet, describing its launch as “a technical test” – even if it’s chosen a huge title for its first project.

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The first game available on Project Stream is Ubisoft’s brand-new Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. It’ll initially be available for users participating in a closed Project Stream beta from the game’s release on 5 October.

To apply for the closed beta, you must be a US citizen aged 17 or older with an internet speed of at least 25Mbits/sec. On top of that, Project Stream only runs on Google Chrome on laptop or desktop — so no convenient TV streaming like on the Nvidia Shield TV then.

The reason for Google’s tight restrictions is that, unlike Netflix or Spotify which only stream audio and visual content one way, Project Stream has to render and stream interactive environments while facilitating instant connectivity between controller, PC and what you see on screen. It also has to do all this without impacting latency, so it doesn’t feel laggy to play.

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Google is no stranger to the video game market, its rumoured Google games console to the games they hide all over their sites attests to its desire to become a big name in games. Between PlayStation Now, Xbox Games Pass, GeForce Now and many more games streaming services popping up in the last few years, there’s clearly a burgeoning market for games streaming services. If Google can create a platform that capitalises on this market, they could revolutionise the games industry the same way Netflix changed TV.

However, Project Stream – and streaming games in general – may not be attractive to a majority of people with slow internet speeds. In the UK alone, nearly one million internet users receive only 10Mbps, less than half the amount Google requires for testers, and many more receive a far lower speed than they pay for. When it can take hours to load a film on Netflix, streaming a game seems like a far cry from reality.

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