With streaming move, Google eyes future of gaming

March 17, 2019 by Glenn Chapman
Google, which collaborated with "Assassin's Creed" maker Ubisoft on streaming technology for video games, is expected to launch its own video game service at a San Francisco industry event

Google is looking to transform internet-age game play, with an expected launch of a streaming service which uses the tech giant's power in the internet cloud.

Expected Tuesday is the debut of a ramped-up version of a cloud gaming platform Google tested recently in partnership with Ubisoft.

A clip teasing a keynote presentation at an annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco invites people to "Gather around as we unveil Google's vision for the future of gaming."

The clip cycles through an accelerating collage of scenes one might find in video games, but says nothing about what Google will announce at the event, which will be live-streamed at YouTube.

Google collaborated with French video colossus Ubisoft to use the hit "Assassin's Creed" franchise to test "Project Stream" technology for hosting the kind of quick, seamless play powered by in-home consoles as an online .

A select number of people in the US were able to play "Assassin's Creed Odyssey" streamed to Chrome browsers on desktop or .

A recently uncovered patent that Google filed for a video game controller hinted that the tech firm might be planning to release its own console and controller to go along with a streaming service.

The same streaming technology used for television and music is helping developers bring games to anyone with an internet-connected device
'xCloud' on horizon

Video games are following television and music into the cloud, with console-quality play on its way to being a streaming service as easy to access as Netflix or Spotify.

Computing power in data centers and devices from televisions to smartphones has surged and streaming technology has advanced, providing tools to break blockbuster titles from confines of consoles or personal computers.

Google, whose YouTube video service operates an eSports platform for viewing game competitions, will be entering a sector with other powerful competitors including Sony and Microsoft.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said late last year that a keenly anticipated "xCloud" streaming service was in "early days."

Microsoft's Xbox consoles and games unit are big business for the Redmond, Washington-based technology titan, which has been adapting to modern lifestyles in which software is hosted as a service online and tapped into using whichever gadgets people prefer.

By entering the livestream gaming world, Google will be competing against rivals including Microsoft and Sony

Video game titan Electronic Arts also has laid out a vision of streaming video games enhanced with artificial intelligence to create "living, breathing worlds that constantly evolve."

Bigger world of play

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter sees Amazon, Apple and Google as potential big players in the space given huge investments they have made in data centers that provide cloud services to millions of people.

Amazon, a major cloud operator through its Amazon Web Services, also owns popular game play-streaming service Twitch.

Console quality video game play streamed online as a service, hosted on servers in the internet cloud, faces challenges including moving data quickly enough to avoid lags in action or imagery.

Improvements in internet bandwidth, computing power and data storage capabilities are enabling "disruptive technologies" such as streaming that can change the way games are created as well as played, according to Ubisoft.

Microsoft is among the rivals Google will face in the game streaming market

While streaming game services might nibble at consoles sales, they are more likely to broaden the audience of players to anyone with an internet connection, according to analysts.

The US industry generated a record $43.4 billion in revenue in 2018, up 18 percent from the prior year, according to data released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and NPD Group.

"Console, PC, and mobile platforms all saw significant growth, while developing portions of the market like subscription and streaming services gave us a peek into a future full of possibilities for the industry and gamers," NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said in a release.

Explore further: Google teams with Ubisoft to test video game streaming

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BendBob
not rated yet Mar 17, 2019
I'm still waiting for NovaLogic (say the last 5 years of their development) type games. F22 was the most fun I've had flying, I squeezed the joystick so hard the thing broke apart while trying to evade fighters.

The Delta force games had game maps that where humongous! As a sniper, I could work from 1000 meters out. Today's games seem to have about a 300 meter limit, if that much.

Team play was the best. for all their multiplayer games.

Oh, well, those days are gone.
Renfield2468
not rated yet Mar 17, 2019
If this idea was fast and reliable enough it would totally rip me away from using Steam. When it comes to multiplayer games a decentralized cloud based player base would help overcome hackers that sell client side cheats. Imagine playing a current modern fps arena game without hardly ever encountering a cheater at all. It would be fantastic.
Thorium Boy
3 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2019
streaming is a disease. Carte blanc for censorship based solely on the variablity of moral change. If you really want to keep something intact, download it intact or but it on disk. Don't believe the threat? Just look at the elimination of characters from movies and TV because they violated some #meToo code.

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