As if Google could not further dominate the tech world; the Silicon Valley behemoth is set to shake up the gaming industry. Google’s much awaited Project Stream is now open for beta testing.
It seems everyone who had applied for beta testing this service, has received invites from Google to test the service to their heart’s content. The service is currently only available for the US and all the testers must be 17 or above.
Beta testing will end on 19th January and anyone who participated will receive $10 of in-game currency. Google hasn’t mentioned how many beta testers it is looking to work with.
This service will allow users to play any graphic-intensive AAA title in 60 frames per second at 1080p resolution, on their Chrome browsers. Google says the minimum internet connection speed should be 25 Megabits per second.
It further added that Chrome should be updated to the latest version (version 69 or higher) to provide the smoothest experience possible.
Testers will get to try out Ubisoft’s latest Assassin’s Creed title, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Anyone who received an invite will be instructed to head to Project Stream’s website and input the unique code they got in their email.
After the user has agreed to the terms and conditions, Google will run a test to check the internet connection and overall specs of users’ computer.
If Google gives the go-ahead, users will need to sign up for a Ubisoft account. Users can choose to use either mouse and keyboard or a controller.
Google also lists all the controllers that will be compatible. For now, if you own either a PS4 or Xbox One or Xbox 360 controller, you are good to go. Unfortunately, wireless controllers won’t work at the moment.
Google had been teasing this service for quite a while now. When it was finally unveiled in front of the world, it sent a massive shockwave through the gaming industry. Even though other services like PlayStation, Now and Nvidia GeForce Now already exist on the market, Google has created a beast of a different nature.
What’s so special about Project Stream is that since it allows players to run this service in their browsers, games can be played on MacOS as well. And every Mac owner knows what a hassle running games can be.
The concept isn’t much different from other remote-gaming platforms, such as Nvidia GeForce Now, PlayStation Now and Gamefly. What sets Project Stream apart from its competition, is the fact that how popular Chrome is.
Google Chrome has been the most popular web browser for quite some time now. Its availability on Linux, Mac, Windows and Chromebooks make it possible for gaming enthusiasts to run graphic-intensive games on all these operating systems.
In a nutshell, the game would run remotely on Google’s high-performance servers but the game would be streamed to users’ browsers.
Testers will be able to play the game for free but after the beta testing phase ends, all of the saved progress and achievements will be lost. The users will have to buy the game if they want to continue playing it on PC or console, from the beginning.
Google has been keeping a close eye on the beta testing phase. Because of the hype alone, I’d say the tests have been a huge hit. Despite such positive signs, Google hasn’t revealed any further plans regarding the project. Neither have they revealed what other game titles they will be adding.
Most importantly, the company hasn’t told how much is it going to cost. As I mentioned earlier, Google will have to face the likes of Sony and Nvidia in the game streaming space.
Sony’s PlayStation Now service allows users to play current and old PlayStation titles on both PS4 and PC. Users can rent individual titles or pay monthly charges of £12.99 to gain access to all 500+ titles. The annual subscription fee is £84.99.
Nvidia’s GeForce Now, on the other hand, streams games on Nvidia’s Shield tablets and Android-based Shield TV set-top boxes. The company has also been running closed beta tests on Mac and PC.
At this year’s E3 convention, both EA and Microsoft announced they would be launching similar service not just for PCs and consoles but for smartphones as well. Neither of the company has disclosed any further details.
If Google is looking to make a breakthrough in this market, it needs to offer competitive prices without sacrificing users’ experience.
Videogame streaming is an exceptionally good service that has come at just the right time. Due to cryptocurrency and cryptomining, graphics cards, processors and RAM prices have skyrocketed. Building a gaming PC has become a rich man’s sport.
For every gaming enthusiast who cannot afford a high-end gaming PC and wants to play the latest titles, this service will be a godsend.