Game streaming has been a dream goal for many publishers for many years. Initially, it was OnLive and Gaikai that got the ball rolling, hoping to bring gamers an opportunity to stream their favorite games without the requirement of having expensive console hardware. Things didn't quite work out for OnLive due to infrastructure issues on the consumer end, and Gaikai was later bought out by Sony and turned into PlayStation Now, which has had its ups and downs in trying to gain a foothold in the streaming space. Well, as the old saying goes, competition breeds progress and Google is looking to get competitive in the game-streaming space. Both Google and Ubisoft have teamed up to offer gamers an opportunity to play Assassin's Creed: Odyssey without actually needing a high-end PC or home console to do so. Yes, you'll be able to play the game right from the comfort of your browser, with low-end specs to boot.
In a Google blog post, the company revealed that streaming tech has moved far enough along that now that music and video programming is easily accessible through just about any device, it was time to take a crack at video games... again. The company has been working with the tech that powers Project Stream in order to overcome the technical hurdles that waylaid previous efforts to make game streaming a possibility. This includes testing the new tech with Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, which will be playable through Project Stream, for free, starting on October 5th within the Google Chrome browser.
The game will be streamed at the top-end of 1080p at 60 frames per second. As some of you know, such streaming settings for playing a game can be quite taxing, and you even need a pretty decent rig to utilize the game-streaming through the Xbox app on Windows 10 in order to stream Xbox One games to your gaming rig. However, as pointed out in the blog post, the tech Google is working with is aimed at reducing latency down to microseconds and ensuring that there's no buffer between the user input and the data-reads.
Additionally, the idea is to produce streaming output for the end-user that has no "graphic degradation". Some of you might notice that when playing games through PlayStation Now or streaming games through the Xbox app on Windows 10, sometimes in order to maintain consistent refresh rates you'll see the bit-rate lower briefly (or consistently) to compensate for any potential loss of frames or to prevent players from losing stability in play. Google hopes to overcome these issues with Project Stream so that gamers will be able to retain the indulgence of high-end graphics and gameplay provided by some AAA experiences, such as Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. Ubisoft is also using a similar method to bring the game to the Nintendo Switch, but it's only going to be available in Japan.
Of course, you will need a rather fast internet connection that supports at least 25 megabits per second, and if you want to participate in the free test starting October 5th, you will need to be at least 18 years of age or older. You can sign-up to be a beta participant over on the Project Stream website.
If you're accepted into the program, you can look to play-test Assassin's Creed: Odyssey later this week.