Remember EA's cloud game streaming service announced last October? Well, more than a year later, EA's Project Atlas against a major new competitor in the form of Google Stadia is finally ready to be tested.
EA's Chief Technology Officer, Ken Moss, announced to Medium that the service will open on September 9 for players who sign up in advance, explaining some key details about the service's ambitions and planned titles.
"Firstly, we want to make sure that cloud games offer a high quality of service by adapting to conditions like unstable bandwidth and network strength, which are often not optimal," Moss said in the post. "We also test a wide range of games and genres to better understand the power of streaming technology in all areas." From fidelity to games that are known for stunning graphics and sophisticated rendering, to the uncompromising precision and accuracy that's so important to multiplayer FPS games – all of this must work smoothly. "
If you receive an invitation to the test, you can expect to see four very different types of games in the new service, including FIFA 19, Need for Speed Rivals, Titanfall 2, and Unravel. It does not seem like the players need to own these games to be able to play them in the current form on Project Atlas. However, this does not guarantee that these games will be free once the service goes online.
The good news is that part of the test includes the ability to switch between different versions of the game once the service ends. So you can port on your project and enable switching between different versions while the trial is running Good.
Everyone has the stadiums in view
Having said that, it's hard to talk about a game streaming service this year without comparing it to Google Stadia, which is expected to be available this November and will almost certainly pose a threat to EA's Project Atlas.
That's because from today's point of view, EA wants to be a major player in the emerging cloud game streaming market, even though it's further down than PlayStation Now, Google Stadia, and even the Microsoft Project xCloud, which is undergoing its public technical testing during the E3 started in 2019.
In terms of technology, EA promises the same cross-play and cross-save capabilities as the other services, but could face technical challenges as EA is the smallest publisher attempting to stream games. Nor does this refer to the fact that Project Atlas uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) instead of a custom hardware / software solution such as Google and Microsoft, both of which use their own cloud services and server infrastructures.
The extent to which this affects the gameplay in the real world, remains to be seen – but we will learn more about it after the players have used this service this week.
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