Google's new 'Project Stream' gaming service

Shawn Khoo takes a quick look at a Google's first forays into cloud gaming.

Shawn Khoo
22nd October 2018
Image Credit: Flickr (Shawn Collins)

On 1 October 2018, Google revealed a new venture: Project Stream. Despite the reference to streaming in its name, Project Stream is not the same as notable streaming platforms such as Twitch or the ubiquitous YouTube.

Instead, it’s a cloud gaming service that aims to get users playing at a moment’s notice, and on any device that can support its relatively low operating requirements. Best of all, all this takes place within the hugely popular Chrome browser.

Google Project Stream may not be long for this world

But how exactly does all this work? Simply put, the game isn’t actually running natively on the device like a traditional gaming system. Instead, cloud gaming software sends inputs from your keyboard or controller to an internet server running the game. The server then streams the audio and video of the game back to your device.

This may create doubts pertaining to issues of latency, but reports from those who have tested Project Stream say that the effects of it are negligible (depending on your device and your connection speeds).

Although the project currently only supports Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, more games should be available in the future, especially after its commercial launch.

However, Google Project Stream may not be long for this world. With the existence of established cloud gaming software such as PlayStation Now, GeForce Now and LiquidSky, penetrating the market for cloud gaming may be more difficult than what Google expected.

Best of all, all this takes place within the hugely popular Chrome browser.

Additionally, on 8 October, Microsoft expressed its interest in the market in the form of Project xCloud, a cloud gaming software specifically tailored for Xbox games.

Despite the exclusivity of Project xCloud, it is entirely possible that these two projects will collide as they attempt to gain a foothold in the market for cloud gaming, hinting at a rough road ahead for both companies.

Therefore, whether Project Stream and Project xCloud will succeed or join the numerous discontinued cloud gaming ventures remains to be seen.

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