Tech and ad giant Google is expected to unveil its game streaming service at a March 19 presentation made during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, after sending out invitations for the event.
Known to be working on a subscription game streaming service since at least early 2018 and co-ordinating plans with game publishers and studios at the Game Developers Conference and then the Electronic Entertainment Expo through the first half of 2018, Google is now expected to unveil its project at GDC in March 2018.
An invitation-only keynote has been scheduled for the morning of March 19 at GDC’s Moscone Center base in San Francisco.
Google has already tested something called Project Stream via an October 2018 US partnership with “Assassin’s Creed” and “The Division” publisher Ubisoft.
Successful applicants could play one of that season’s biggest releases, “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey,” for free, using a cloud computing service and the laptop and desktop edition of Google’s web browser, Chrome.
In May 2017, Google acquired the well-respected virtual reality game specialist Owlchemy Labs, which developed the comical “Job Simulator,” “Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality,” and 2019’s upcoming “Vacation Simulator.”
Ubisoft and Nintendo paired up to offer “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” over game streaming for Nintendo Switch owners in Japan May 2018 saw Japanese publisher Capcom do the same for a Nintendo Switch edition of “Resident Evil 7.” In both cases, Switch owners could play for a limited time for free, after which they would be required to rent the game.
Similarly, Sega’s Japan division offers “Phantasy Star Online 2: Cloud” for the Switch, while Square Enix has Android, iOS and Nintendo 3DS editions of 2012 MMO “Dragon Quest X” available via cloud technology.
Sony has game streaming service PlayStation Now already in place for PlayStation 4 and PC, while hardware manufacturer Nvidia has the GeForce Now service in beta for its Shield device as well as lower-powered Macs and PCs; Microsoft is currently developing Project xCloud.
Though cloud-based gaming may not have reached mass adoption as of yet, it’s clear that industry players are positioning themselves for a shift in habits.