In a move that could herald a major shift of focus for the lucrative gaming sector, Google is expected to announce it's ready to take its Project Stream mainstream.
It’s thought the new game-streaming service will operate rather like Netflix does for video, and will mark the first major entrant into a new era of video gaming.
Google has been testing the tech since last autumn, allowing invited players to test Assassin’s Creed Odyssey through its Chrome browser.
Google’s Catherine Hsiao wrote in a blog post at the start of the trial period, “When streaming TV or movies, consumers are comfortable with a few seconds of buffering at the start, but streaming high-quality games requires latency measured in milliseconds, with no graphic degradation.”
Now, Fortune reports, it seems Project Stream has made the grade and Google is ready introduce the game-streaming concept to the wider public with an announcement at next month’s Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.
Content-rich and bandwidth-hungry games will be run on cloud servers and streamed to players’ devices, which will include PCs, tablets, phones and laptops – anything with a sufficiently good internet connection.
This will put it in direct competition with other game and console brands, such as Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
The gaming sector is incredibly lucrative in the US, and it’s growing. The latest data from the Entertainment Software Association show consumers in the States spent $36 billion in 2017 on video games. Ten years earlier, that figure was just $9.5 billion.
Not surprising then that major brands are looking for new routes to market and the possibility of growing it even further. Fortune reports that Verizon is testing a similar streaming service and that Apple and Amazon are also expected to bring out something similar in the future.
Games console giant Sony has already dipped a toe into the market with its PlayStation Now service, which allows $99-a-year subscribers to access a 650-game library via a PS4 console or a Windows laptop.
And later this year, Fortune says, Microsoft is expected to begin trialing Project xCloud, which will allow streaming of Xbox One content on phones, computers and tablets.
Sourced from Fortune; additional content by WARC staff