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Initial Project Stream Impressions Overwhelmingly Positive as Journalists Stream Assassin's Creed Odyssey in Their Browsers

Early analysis of its performance suggests that Google might have another winner on its hands.

News by Kat Bailey, .

We may be getting a glimpse of the future of gaming right now. Journalists are starting to get their hands on Google's Project Stream, and impressions have been pretty positive, to say the least.

Polygon, The Verge, and Kotaku all posted their thoughts on Project Stream today, which is being made accessible to a select few invitees. Google's new initiative allows you to stream through a Chrome extension, and is currently only compatible Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Thus far, Kotaku calls the new initiative "impressive," while the Verge goes further and refers to it as a "working preview of the future of game streaming." Dang. Here's a quick roundup:

The Verge:

Project Stream still has more work to do, especially with handling screen resolutions. But it is fluid, has cloud saves, and is easy to get running. Furthermore, both internet connections (Wi-Fi and Ethernet) didn’t have any issues with keeping the game running and playable; they just couldn’t up the visual quality. I can see myself starting and finishing entire games on Project Stream, whereas a week ago I would’ve thought otherwise.

Kotaku:

Short version is, this is incredible technology. Both tests were mostly stable for me, with very few latency issues. Assassin's Creed Odyssey on Project Stream doesn’t seem to get anywhere close to 60 frames per second, and there are no graphical settings to play around with, but what I’ve seen so far is way more smooth than I expected, considering I was playing in a damn internet browser.

Polygon:

To say that the streaming service and its presentation of Assassin's Creed Odyssey were impressive would be an understatement. Given the choice between playing the standard PC version of the game and the Project Stream version, I’d probably choose streaming. With Project Stream, the game launches a little quicker, and you only really lose the top end of quality. For those with the internet connection to play — but without a suitable computer to handle the traditional install — it's hard to imagine a better setup than Project Stream, even in these early days.

True remote game streaming is a holy grail for hardware developers heading into the next generation. Whichever company manages to master it will potentially hold the keys to the future, much as Valve was able to capture the digital distribution market with Steam. Services ranging from Onlive to PlayStation Now have tried, but none have quite caught on.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is one of the most technically advanced games around, but Project Stream reportedly handles it with ease.

It's still extremely early days, but seamlessly streaming a game as hefty as Assassin's Creed Odyssey right into a browser is a pretty solid achievement for Project Stream. If Project Stream pays off, it could put Google squarely in the middle of the gaming conversation when the PS5 and its ilk eventually launch.

But it will have competition. Earlier today, Microsoft revealed plans for Project xCloud, which its plans to deploy for a public test next year.

Whoever emerges as the winner, these are truly heady days as developers inch closer to reaching the decade-long dream of being able to stream games. With initiatives like Project Stream, the Netflix boom for gaming maybe closer than we think.

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Comments 4

  • Avatar for camchow #1 camchow 7 days ago
    Wife and I just tried it too. Here's how it went:

    My connection is about 50mbps download
    Perfectly playable, no input lag, stream quality wasn't great though, like watching a 720p youtube video most of the time (ok maybe not that bad but close). Sometimes it was better but overall I decided I'd rather play it on my PS4 for the visual sharpness.

    Wife's connection is about 120mbps download
    Looking over at her screen now and it's running really sharp, much better than it was on my system. She has a better connection to the router with a 5.0 ghz wifi connection (mine is just 2.4 ghz). No input lag and her stream quality is perfect, looks like she is running it right off her computer (which wouldn't be possible frankly as her video card is cheap and old). She has only had one little 1 second hiccup in about an hour's playtime, asides from that it has been perfect.

    We are both incredibly impressed. If my connection was as good as hers I'd probably stream it too but since i already own the PS4 copy anyway I'll stick to that since it's sharper and clearer than what I was looking at in my stream.

    One last note: She tried to stream her gameplay to Twitch, as soon as she did that her stream was terrible, tons of lag and stuttering. I guess that was too much to hope for haha! She stopped the twitch stream and the gameplay is back to being smooth and crisp.Edited 1 weeks ago by camchow
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #2 SuperShinobi 7 days ago
    PS5 will still play any game better locally and with better image quality, so why would you choose streaming instead? Streaming games is more like a nightmare for me, where at any random time your connection can suddenly get interrupted and you'll get kicked out of the game and possibly even lose progress. Local play on the other hand is rock-solid stable and you can just enjoy the game without any worries at all.

    So you can stream AAA games to some high-end $1000 4G or 5G smartphone now? Well, I'm sure these $1000 phone-owning people can then also easily afford a $450 next-gen console that plays games better and comes with a proper controller too.

    Spotify may have replaced my CD collection and Netflix may have somewhat replaced my Blu-Ray movie collection, but streaming games is another matter. I don't see it as a realistic alternative to getting a next-gen console for anyone who loves video games.
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  • Avatar for camchow #3 camchow 7 days ago
    I just want to update since my first post. Twiddled around with my wifi adapter antenna and got my internet speed up to 80 MBS. Idk I'm no adapter pro, but whatever. Anyway, tried it again at that speed and guy, oh my god, I am seriously blown away. Idk why just that little boost did it but now it's as clear as if I were playing a game locally. I played it for an hour and didn't have a single hiccup or downgrade in the stream, 1080p the whole time.

    What's more the loading time is leaps and bounds better than my base PS4. From loading into scenes or even just canceling out of the the hawk. On the PS4 if you fly your little hawk too far when you cancel out and return to your player the PS4 goes black for a bit and the loading symbol pops up for a few seconds, on the stream it's just instant. I'm sold. I'll keep playing on the stream for now and see how it goes but if it continues that performance I had for the last hour then yeah, streaming is the future and I'm ready for it.
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  • Avatar for docexe #4 docexe 7 days ago
    I can picture streaming being the future of gaming, but as I have mentioned before, given the issues with the ISPs and broadband availability in many parts of the world (including the US), I'm skeptical that future will come to pass anytime soon.

    It's a similar situation to VR: The technology might be impressive and you can see the practical applications to improve the gaming experience, but the barriers of entry might still be too high for most consumers for it to reach critical mass, at least in the short term.
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