Google’s Project Stream Offers Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in Your Chrome Browser
Google’s Project Stream is the latest attempt to deliver a premium gaming experience right in your browser, and it almost works. Ubisoft and Google have partnered up to allow beta testers to play Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey for free using Project Stream in Google Chrome. It’s a remarkable feat that replicates the cutting-edge graphics of a gaming console or high-powered PC right in your browser…most of the time…if you have the bandwidth.
Here’s the catch. Beta testers have noticed that, unsurprisingly, you need a strong Internet connection to use Project Stream effectively. While the service will continue to function at 15 Megabits per second, you want at least 25Mbps to deliver a smooth gaming experience. When you have a strong, stable connection, the graphics and gaming experience are remarkably similar to the PS4 or Xbox One at 30 fps—but don’t expect that to last. Inevitably, the game will start to lag if you experience any latency issues and the graphics will fluctuate between what you want, 1080p HD, and what looks like a fuzzy 720p screen-grab on YouTube.
We’re sure that Google will deliver a more consistent gaming experience in the future, but there are other potential pitfalls for “game streaming.” If you don’t own a physical copy of the game, what will stop publishers and providers from yanking old or underperforming content? It’s annoying when Netflix removes a movie I wanted to watch, but what happens when they remove a game that you’ve played for 40 hours? Who owns your save files? We’ve already seen games disappear from online stores or game libraries when publishers go out of business. There is a real downside to the subscription model for gaming that game streamers will have to weigh against the convenience of playing new games on any device.
Project Stream is a valiant effort to stream Triple A games to your browser, but it’s not perfect. The service is in beta and you can sign up to check it out for yourself.