Google Gets Ready to Test Its Game Streaming Service on the Browser

Posted on October 1, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Google with 10 Comments

Google has been rumoured to be working on its own gaming system in the past. The company’s gaming system is reportedly powered by a game streaming service, codenamed Yeti, that will allow users to stream full-blown games on Google’s console. While Google’s gaming system is far from being officially launched, the company just unveiled what seems like the first steps towards that.

Meet Project Stream, Google’s new game streaming service that works on the browser. Starting on October 5, you will be able to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on Chrome (or likely other browsers). The initial launch is just a test, and Google says the project has limited spaces, so most of us probably won’t get to try out the streaming service anytime soon, unless you are really lucky.

“The idea of streaming such graphically-rich content that requires near-instant interaction between the game controller and the graphics on the screen poses a number of challenges.  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,” the company said, stating that the streaming service will require a 25mbps internet connection. It’s also only limited to users aged over 17 years, and those who live in the United States.

Google’s game streaming service seems quite promising, especially because of the fact that it works through a browser. Of course, there are a bunch of other things to be confirmed about the service, including things like the performance, latency, and availability. Keep in mind, the service only works with one game so far, and it could take months before it expands to support more games.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Google Gets Ready to Test Its Game Streaming Service on the Browser”

  1. jrickel96

    Google's Cloud is falling behind and has its own latency issues. I deal with them everyday. The Assassin's Creed tests are in a heavily controlled environment where they can easily limit latency and minimize the travel of the network to improve latency.


    We will likely hear of horrible quality and poor input latency when it is tested outside of the controlled environment.


    Right now, Google doesn't have the infrastructure to power this. Their Cloud service is getting progressively worse by the day. Their low latency DBs are not all that low latency.


    This works great on a small network detached from the larger world where latency and bandwidth are easily controlled. It's easy to make things work in a lab. It's hard to make them work in the real world. And Google can't even get email right, so how will they get this right?


    They won't.

      • jrickel96

        In reply to dcdevito:

        There are lots of things I like. I like all three consoles out now. I like my iPhone. I think AWS and Azure are both quite good, though AWS is held together by duct tape a bit, but it works well. I like Creative Cloud, Office 365, and many other things.


        I have had a lot of stress due to Google and people just trusting them because of their name. I've had to deal with the disorder of Drive for businesses and issues with delivery from Google's servers - including their inability to scale up virtual machines quickly in response to a heightened load. These are things Azure and AWS have no problem with.


        As I said below, Google is great when you're small and want services on the cheap, but they don't scale up well. I know of some large corporate clients that regret trying G-Suite and will be leaving as soon as contracts are up. Same with GCloud. I have some rather large clients that shifted from GCloud to AWS or Azure and have found everything goes much further as they get out from under Google's poor infrastructure.


        I'm not a fan of Google because I've had to work with their stuff. I've seen how Android encourages laziness in development because of bad architecture choices from the top. I've seen how unorganized G-Suite is and how incapable G-Cloud is with larger scale deployments.


        I deal with low latency gaming to a point. It's more simplistic than what you see above and Google struggles with it in places that have excellent connections and a ton of bandwidth - and some are almost plugged directly into major hubs. I just don't see Google being able to pull this off in any real world application. In a tightly controlled situation? Sure. But until normal can see it, it's vaporware.

        • Jeff Jones

          In reply to jrickel96:


          I stand corrected. Your level of stressing the system seems a lot higher than mine.


          Do you suppose the latency is from a lack of data centers in your local vicinity or a lack of CPU power being handed out when needed to your custom application?

          • jrickel96

            In reply to DataMeister:

            I think there are several factors. The low latency DB managing the user data isn't low latency enough. Firebase has been rated at 100ms. Firestore is a bit faster, but not significantly. Cosmos (Azure) and Dynamo (AWS) are rated at 1ms. I think so much of that has to do with the support structure around the DB.


            Lack of CPU is an issue as well. GCloud doesn't scale quickly enough. In our tests (and these are not comprehensive, so take them with a grain of salt), Azure was very responsive in scaling the VMs to provide more power as the load increased. AWS does a good job too. IBM as well. GCloud was really, really bad at it.


            Lack of datacenters may have something to do with it. Performance is far worse in places we're expanding into - Australia and Europe. We are about to do a big project with the Australian Cricket League and we can't use Google for it because it would give us numerous performance issues and we need super fast response. We're building out a web based facial recognition piece of software to put snap chat style filters on faces that needs to be hosted on a responsive service with low latency. Melbourne Cricket Ground can seat 100,000 and here in the States we've seen 20%+ of a stadium get involved during gametime. So what happens if 20K all go on at the same time? Or all 100K? Granted, the JS program is running on the phone - but it has to serve it to the phone first.


            I also think there's some bad logic inside the system and they're not as good at duct taping as Amazon is. I manage the programmers, so they know a lot more about this stuff than I do, but the specialists have told me that Azure is much better put together than either AWS, GCloud, or IBM's Cloud. It should be able to handle more stress because it is not as patched together as the other services.


            Granted, Google probably has resources they keep to themselves, but if that's the case then that doesn't help them much because they're not sharing their best stuff with people that pay them money.


            All that said, Azure and AWS generally cost more money and the fast scaling ability is something you pay for, but it does work well for both. GCloud works for many things, but it can get stressed easily. It's what I've found with most Google products - they just don't scale up well. They are great for lower level usage or for companies getting started, but then things get dicey over time. We've struggled because we're in GCloud and G-Suite but have more than tripled our size in two years. G-Suite is extremely unorganized and provides nothing akin to Sharepoint, so we're planning on moving to Office 365 at the beginning of next year.


            Our only deterrent on moving to Azure is JS support, but MS is bringing that soon. With AWS you basically have to write your own plug ins. Google is GREAT at providing that kind of stuff, but you run into the scaling problems, datacenter problems, etc.


            I'd say if GCloud works well for your needs, stick with it. I find Azure's control center easier, but GCloud isn't hard to manage - it's much much easier than AWS in that area.


            But I'm skeptical of Google's streaming of high end games for the masses based on what I've seen. They have a lot of work to do. I think MS is probably in the lead here despite not having a demo. Their experience with Xbox Live cannot be discounted and Azure is probably best set up to handle something like this - but latency is always going to be an issue because of how unpredictable connections are all along the way.


            Though I will say some of these new facilities for our business are amazing. SunTrust Park for the Braves has a Terabit coming into the complex (it has restaurants, clubs, etc). It was set up with 5Ghz Wi-fi only for entire park. During sold out games with 40K in the stadium I can get a ping of 3ms, download at 200mbps, and upload at 150mbps. That's impressive under a load. And our GCloud host has had trouble there.

    • Jeff Jones

      In reply to jrickel96:

      Sounds more like an issue with your ISP than Google. At least from my point of access.


      • jrickel96

        In reply to DataMeister:

        Seeing as I work with GCloud across many different ISPs and regions, no. We deploy across US to various clients and then also deploy in Europe, Asia, and Australia specifically using for gaming and needing low latency for signals.


        Our weakest link has been Google for both databases (Firebase and Firestore) and hosting on the back end. We have been gradually moving hosting away from Google and seeing huge speed improvements, even in places that have huge pipes (have sports clients in Atlanta, one of them has a terabit pipe direct into their complex and struggles with Google's Cloud services).


        CosmosDB and DynamoDB (MS and Amazon) are both MUCH lower latency DBs that are necessary for high speed gaming. In fact, I'd bet the DB being used for Odyssey is not Google's. Firebase is a 100ms DB. Firestore improves speeds slightly, but our backend tests show Dynamo and Cosmos are much, much faster. We use the DBs to manage behavior when thousands of people attach simultaneously to play a game. Not odd to have 5,000 people in one stadium attached at the same time to the same server. Google has not been able to scale up. We've found the same with G-Suite. Google is great for entry level stuff, but scaling up it never works very well.


        We've tested our global deployments with other services and found AWS and Azure to be much faster and predictable. We likely will be moving to Azure because MS will be providing a lot more plugins that we won't have to write ourselves.


        When I talk to other clients in sports leagues and sponsors I work with (NFL, NHL, NBA, MLS, MLB, Coca-Cola, Dunkin, Equifax, and many others), most are not impressed with Google's Cloud offerings and have either left Google or are preparing too.


        Google is falling behind in this area.

  2. nicholas_kathrein

    Nice. This will be someday the norm.

  3. Mark from CO

    I would suspect that like most other tech products/services, only two players will thrive in this market. If so, either Sony, Microsoft, or Google won't make the cut. Interesting to see how the fight goes. I know Microsoft has many strengths, however, I'm not you can count the company as a sure bet for one of the two key players.


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