Google wants to let make it possible for you to play the latest PC games in a web browser. Rather than load a game on a PC with powerful hardware, the game would actually be running on a remote server — which means all you need to play is a halfway decent computer and a relatively fast internet connection.

Google calls the technology that powers the experience Project Stream, and the company has teamed up with game developer Ubisoft to roll out a test later this week: starting October 5th, a small number of testers will be able to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in the Chrome web browser.

That’s the same day the game will be released for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

You can sign up for a chance to test the game — Google says the game will be available for free for the duration of the test. But only a limited number of folks will be able to participate and you’ll need to be 17 years old or older, live in the US, and have an internet connection of at least 25 megabits per second.

It’s unclear if Google plans to launch its own game streaming service in the future or if the company just wants to demonstrate the possibility of using its Chrome browser as a streaming target in case Ubisoft or other game developers or game streaming startups want to use the technology in the future.

Game Streaming services have been around for a few years. Sony and NVIDIA both have their own versions. But we’ve also seen a few companies fall by the wayside. GameFly streaming shut down just over a month ago. OnLive shut down three years ago, after the company’s assets were acquired by Sony.

The promise of game streaming is video-gaming-on-demand, or a Netflix-for-games style service that solves a few different problems: you don’t need to buy or build a high-end gaming PC to play the latest games… and you don’t need to keep upgrading the hardware year after year. All of that can happen on the server side. You can also start playing new games moments after paying for individual titles or a subscription without having to download and install a huge game.

But there are also challenges: when you’re streaming video or music over the internet you probably won’t notice if there’s a slight delay. But when you’re playing games it’s important for you to see changes as soon as they occur and for the game to register keyboard, mouse, or game controller actions almost instantly.

Google isn’t the first company to attempt to resolve those issues. But it is one of the first to use a web browser to do it.

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5 replies on “Google’s Project Stream will let you play AAA games in the Chrome web browser (starting with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey)”

  1. I wonder what took Google so long to get into gaming. I have wondered for a couple of years when they would test the waters. A service like this with regular monthly income has to look inviting to Google. If they choose the right types of games (not very lag sensitive) they could do well. Not that I want them to do well. I have steadily been weaning myself off of Google products.

    1. They have a very distracted focus. When they first announced Android TV they really were pushing gaming for a huge portion of the announcement. When they finally released Android TV later they made very little effort to focus on gaming. There was barely any focus in the UI of the OS and virtually no marketing behind it. The passion seen in the announcement was basically gone right after. why? Google

  2. Great idea! This break the endless cycle of WinTel upgrade suffering.

    1. This is hardly new. NVidia have had something similar for years and others including Microsoft have similar products. You won’t have to pay for upgrades or an expensive GPU but you will have to pay a hefty subscription fee.

    2. The upgrade “suffering” as you call it is a core part of the appeal of PC gaming. If your not into that then that’s what consoles are for.

      Also do really want a intrusive and highly aggressive company like Google to gain a foothold in core gaming, hell no.

      Valve’s proton effort is what any linux PC gamer should be supporting, not this.

      Game streaming is not new there are plenty of existing services not made by Google.

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