Google’s long-rumored game-streaming plan–or part of it, at least–is now official. Starting October 5, Google will let a small number of Chrome users play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey directly within the web browser as part of “Project Stream.” Instead of requiring a powerful gaming PC, Google will render the game on its own servers and then stream the video and audio to lower-cost laptops and desktops over the internet.
Game-streaming technology is nearly a decade old and was pioneered by startups like OnLive (whose assets were acquired by Sony in 2015) and Gaikai (which was also bought by Sony in 2012). Sony, Nvidia, and several startups continue to offer game-streaming service today, and Microsoft is working on its own version now.
But it’s unclear how Google intends to stand out or solve the latency and reliability issues that have kept the concept from going mainstream. Google’s blog post says nothing about technology, pricing, or even publisher support–let alone rumors of a Google game console–and casts Project Stream as a “technical test” rather than an actual product. Like others in this space, Google might have a long way to go before it can match the experience of a proper console or gaming PC.