Here's all you need to know about Google's Project Stream, the latest game-streaming client
Following months of whispers about a secret game project underway behind closed doors at Google HQ, Google has revealed Project Stream. Project Stream is Google’s equivalent of Nvidia’s GeForce Now service, providing access to games via streaming, rather than downloading. As well as providing instant access to games, Project Stream enables gamers to play AAA games on a variety of devices and not just high-end gaming PCs, as all the processing power is handled remotely by Google.
Project Stream will allegedly be accessible via Google’s Chrome browser once it launches, leading us to believe that it’ll be available on almost any device running Google Chrome.
The overall aim of Project Stream is to provide lag-free gameplay at a consistent 1080p@60fps, which is no small feat. Catherine Hsiao explains some of the challenges faced in a recent Google blog post, and you can see an example of Project Stream gameplay at the top of this page.
“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,” Hsiao remarked. “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.”
Though it’s unclear what Project Stream will look like when it eventually comes to market, Google is currently testing the technology and is looking for users to sign up and play right now.
How can I join the Project Stream beta test?
Yes, you read that right – Google is currently testing Project Stream with the recently released Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and is looking for keen gamers to help improve the technology. If accepted into the test, you’ll be able to play Odyssey in its entirety for free, although there are minor limitations regarding in-app purchases.
There are requirements for the test, and you must have the following to be accepted:
- Be located in the US
- An active Google account (excluding managed Google accounts like Google for Work)
- An Ubisoft account
- A computer running a recent version of Google Chrome (v.69 or later)
- Minimum 25Mbps internet download speeds
- A wired USB controller or external mouse
If you match the criteria, head over to the Project Stream website to sign up. The test is set to run until January 2019, giving you a solid few months to play through the huge open-world game and test out Google’s impressive game streaming technology.
When will Project Stream be released?
Google is staying tight-lipped at a potential release date for Project Stream, and we’re not surprised. It’s a complex service to perfect, and will require a myriad of data centres around the world to provide the low-latency streaming required by gamers.
With the beta test running until early 2019, we can safely dismiss a 2018 general release. We imagine that Google will implement improvements post-beta, possibly for release later next year. Whatever happens, we’ll be sure to update this section as soon as we receive news from Google.