Project Stream: Google Takes on GeForce Now

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Google's getting into the game streaming business. The search giant today announced Project Stream, a "technical test" which lets you stream video games to the Chrome web browser on either a desktop or laptop. To test Project Stream, Google will let select participants play Assassin's Creed Odyssey for free beginning Oct. 5.

Those interested in participating can sign up here. Google says Project Stream is meant for internet connections that can handle a 25-megabit-per-second connection, and that users must be 17 years or older (for the trial, at least, this makes sense. Assassin's Creed Odyssey is rated M for mature by the ESRB).

Google is seemingly preparing to go up against Nvidia's GeForce Now, which lets PC, Mac and Nvidia's Shield platform gamers stream more than 225 games. That service is currently in a free beta.

These services may, one day, mean that many gamers don't need powerful gaming PCs or consoles to play games. However, many currently do not have fast enough internet connections to make it work.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon

  • john_stuart
    I have a 100Mbit connection. But quite frankly, even with 64k ISDN back in the day, I had better pings and much less variation especially in the evening hours.

    Personally, I wouldn't trust streaming to entirely replace a proper gaming rig anytime soon, even with connections that should be perfectly fine on paper.

    Heck, even SteamLink which just streams to my living room disappointed me with high latency and noticably bad stream quality with artifacting.
  • Gilles_2
    games like vs fighting need great ping, but turn based rpgs, turn based strategy, well anything turn based, or games like tell tales which doesn't ask for very fast reactions, could be played without any issue, PC players can enjoy Detroit with Playstation Now without issues
  • milkod2001
    Thi could work quite well presume one has super fast internet and only plays single player games.
  • sadsteve
    Sounds like control and DRM.

    1) You cannot play these games when you're disconnect from the internet. So just about any time I go on vacation, none of these games are going to work on my laptop (based upon the almost universally crappy hotel WIFI services I've come across).
    2) Data caps anyone?
    3) Many rural area's will probably not be able to play these games due to their crappy internet and limited ISP availability.
    4) Well, there goes the modding communities.
    5) Game provider: Gee, we're tired of providing the servers for your game (basically, we're not making money off you anymore) so we're going to close them down.

    I see more negatives for the consumer than positives.
  • Gilles_2
    1) you don't own a game, you pay a monthly subscription to a service to play many games
    2) data caps are mostly a thing from the past
    3) this is not the target, and it is not either google's problem if providers/countries are not building better infrastructure in rural places (in Belgium rural part, you can now have 100/30 d/u, so way more than needed for this service
    4) not the target either demographic either
    5) what??? google will provide computer running games, you will connect to them to play games, these games will still connect to specific game servers for multiplayer and so, you don't have the right understanding of what this service is actually providing, it is only like if your computer was is a data center somewhere instead of being in your room, ok you can not put everything you desire and mod the game, but playing solo or multiplayer won't change
  • larkar13
    Proper comparison of proportions for comparison - just a thought.

    Comment too often used in statements about rural areas and to site something like Belgium to compare to the USA. Belgium is the size of the state of Maryland, but Belgium has double the population. I do know there are areas in Maryland that are called rural, but these do not compare the vast areas of other states like Kansas, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Florida, Nevada, Montana, Dakota(s), Alaska, New Mexico, Arizona, etc. that have 90+ miles between citys, not counting town of low population unable to attract "high speed" isp services, vs Belgium/Maryland width of 90 miles.

    The term Rural is not always used in a parallel context.