Google’s long-rumoured Yeti streaming service is now official, as the company today announced Project Stream, a service that will allow users to stream games to the Google Chrome internet browser. The first game supported will be Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which launches on Friday.
“We’ve been working on Project Stream, a technical test to solve some of the biggest challenges of streaming,” Google said in a blog post today. “For this test, we’re going to push the limits with one of the most demanding applications for streaming — a blockbuster video game.”
Anyone who’s accepted into the beta test will be able to play Odyssey in their browsers on a laptop or desktop starting Friday, Google said. They’re looking for people with internet speeds of 25Mb/s or higher. It is also unfortunately restricted to people in the US.
Over the past few months, the wildest rumours in video game industry circles haven't involved the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Two. The most interesting chatter has centred on a tech company that's been quietly making moves to tackle video games in a big way. Google, the conglomerate that operates our email, our internet browsers, and much more.
As we reported earlier this year, this is the first part of a broader Google initiative to enter gaming in a big way. As I wrote in June:
So what is this streaming platform, exactly? Like Nvidia’s GeForce Now, the Google service would offload the work of rendering graphics to beefy computers elsewhere, allowing even the cheapest PCs to play high-end games.
The biggest advantage of streaming, as opposed to physical discs or downloads, is that it removes hardware barriers for games. Games like Call of Duty can reach a significantly bigger audience if players don’t need an expensive graphics card or console to play them. As one person familiar with Yeti described it: Imagine playing The Witcher 3 within a tab on Google Chrome.
The question is, what about input lag? Latency? Will this work as delivered or will it be destined to go the way of OnLive? We’ll be able to see for ourselves starting Friday.