AT&T and Google are bringing “Control” game streaming to phones, tablets and PCs

AT&T announced on Monday that Control: Ultimate Edition is available on Play Now, its game-streaming service powered by Google Stadia technology, demonstrating the ability of 5G to deliver high-bandwidth, low-latency experiences on phones and enable tablets.

Play Now is available to postpaid customers and allows gamers to stream games to their phones, tablets and PCs at no additional cost. Players can jump in and try a game without having to wait through a lengthy download and installation process as the service is similar to Netflix.

Because Play Now works through Google’s Immersive Stream for Games, rendering takes place on servers and the game feed is streamed to users. This introduces a slight latency as data from a keypress has to communicate with servers, process a screen response, and stream back.

The award-winning game Control is also a computationally intensive game that uses complex physics systems and ray tracing, an expensive method to realistically render light in a game world. An expensive gaming PC is required to take full advantage of Control.

Game streaming services like Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now can render games at the highest level, allowing gamers to play at high-fidelity with a subscription price. According to AT&T, its 5G network is capable of streaming games with low lag.

“We envision publishers could use the combination of 5G connectivity and cloud streaming technology to offer limited-time game sessions directly from a search result,” AT&T said in a press release. “This gives players a chance to try before they buy.”

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

Google’s Immersive Stream brings more utility and flexibility to the company’s Stadia technology. Stadia started 2019 with a lot of press attention, but slowly fizzled out. In 2021, Google closed its in-house games studio and its head of product, John Justice, left the company. Jade Raymond, the creator of Assassin’s Creed, has left her role as vice president to also launch an independent studio in 2021. Since then, Google hasn’t promoted Stadia with much vigour. It wasn’t even mentioned at Google I/O earlier this month. According to a Business Insider report, Google appears to be trying to white-label Stadia and strike deals with other companies. If that’s the case, Stadia’s future could lie under other labels. AT&T and Google are bringing “Control” game streaming to phones, tablets and PCs

Chris Barrese

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