Capcom has released a free, browser-based streaming demo of its 2021 hit, Resident Evil Village (opens in new tab) license based stadium technology (opens in new tab) Of google. Google has made a major pullback from its game streaming service, renaming it to the more nondescript “Google Immersive Stream” and licensing the technology to other developers and publishers rather than making major changes internally.
I tried out the demo and was quite impressed – it’s quite generous, offering long portions of the village and mansion portions of the game. The limits of the streaming technology and my Comcast Internet dookie were quickly apparent, however: the visuals were very muddy and low-res, looking like the Witcher 3 switch port (opens in new tab) but it blew up on my 27′ monitor, and I had pretty substantial performance hiccups, culminating in a massive crash that required a full reset on the village group prayer scene. I certainly wouldn’t want to play the entire game that way.
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This is why a demo is a great use of streaming technology – I had a less than ideal Resident Evil experience for sure, but running it was as easy as certifying my age in the browser, without the hassle of installing or uninstalling. a demonstration. This can be a great way to test out games before buying them in the future.
To be clear, I never want game streaming to become a substitute for having a local copy of a game: performance concerns aside, I think that would cause a preservation nightmare for a medium that already struggles to keep its history accessible and available, and mods would be a thing of the past if players didn’t have access to local copies of their games.
This demo of Resident Evil Village and the recent release of Eve anywhere (opens in new tab) gives me hope for a different future where game streaming supplements ownership rather than supplanting it. These examples are so appealing because they exist in addition to owning complete copies of their respective games, rather than replacing that option. They are also free, with the Village offering a free demo and EVE Anywhere being included with the MMO subscription. With this kind of integration, I’m cautiously optimistic that streaming can be a positive part of PC Gaming’s future, rather than “Gaming Netflix” or whatever other horrible thing the industry C-suites have prepared next.