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Google's game streaming platform Project Stream is built on Linux and Vulkan

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Project Stream, the game streaming platform Google is currently building is apparently built on Linux and uses the Vulkan API. While this isn't specifically Linux desktop gaming news, hopefully some of our readers will find it interesting.

For Project Stream, Google has partnered up with Ubisoft to show off Assassin's Creed Odyssey running on it. This is something I touched on, in an editorial I wrote at the start of last month with my thoughts on Valve doing such a service.

The interesting thing here, is that it seems to be part of some wider effort from Google for something code-named Yeti. According to Eurogamer, who had some hands-on time with the system. Here's the relevant text:

Our understanding is that Yeti is a bespoke platform, built on Linux and using Vulkan as the graphics API of choice. We are also told by sources that there will be deep integration with YouTube, not just in terms of infrastructure but also in being able to leap from watching a video into playing a game. Whether these innovative ideas will make it into the final product remains to be seen, but suffice to say, Yeti may well be a major next-gen contender, especially with that kind of backing.

Emphasis mine. 

It's interesting, since Project Stream itself already works well on Linux. I've had multiple reports, from people who've also had hands-on with it tell me that it's working just as well on Linux as it does on Windows. Regardless of your feelings towards cloud gaming, including the technical hurdles it faces (which are pretty big) it's going to eventually be a much bigger thing with more developers pushing it.

A lot of questions remain, such as have Ubisoft essentially ported Assassin's Creed Odyssey to Linux with Vulkan, exclusively for use on Project Stream or is it using something more like Valve's Steam Play? Considering the performance it would need, it's likely a native port.

Regardless of either way it's been done, the little point I want to make is that with enough backing, big titles like this can be ported to Linux. Most of us know this already of course, with companies like Feral Interactive, Aspyr Media and Virtual Programming all having ported some bigger titles to Linux.

What do you make of this?

Hat tip to Marc.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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50 comments
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hardpenguin 1 December 2018 at 11:38 pm UTC
liamdaweA lot of questions remain, such as have Ubisoft essentially ported Assassin's Creed Odyssey to Linux with Vulkan, exclusively for use on Project Stream or is it using something more like Valve's Steam Play? Considering the performance it would need, it's likely a native port.
So answering this question, what I believe currently is:

  • they are developing a Linux-based console

  • it will run natively ported titles with Vulkan

  • it will also be a client for the streamed games (which will be ran on Windows)



Of course, my speculation might be wildly wrong. Like I said initially, the article is mad ambiguous.
lejimster 1 December 2018 at 11:53 pm UTC
I hope they release these Vulkan ports if thats what they're actually doing. DX12>Vulkan *should* be relatively easy to port and I believe Google were one of the companies pushing for the Transform Feedback extension. Of course that might just mean they're doing something similiar to Proton/DXVK.

Whatever the case, it would be nice if studios would adopt Vulkan over DX12. This would be the biggest boost to Linux gaming.
x_wing 2 December 2018 at 12:03 am UTC
Brisse...
- The internet will collapse under the huge bandwidth requirements.
...

Well, 20 years ago our current bandwidth usage would have made collapse internet. It's all about investing in better infrastructure in the end.

I definitely think that gaming streaming will be the future for, at least, all the console gaming and probably all competitive gaming.
Phlebiac 2 December 2018 at 12:26 am UTC
From the article: "Ubisoft has been able to accurately port one of its most advanced titles from Windows and DX11 across to Linux and Vulkan." Would be nice to see them attempt to recoup some of that development cost by actually making it available outside of streaming.
Cyril 2 December 2018 at 1:06 am UTC
The day cloud gaming becomes the standard (Google/Valve or not) I definitely stop buying games.
Shmerl 2 December 2018 at 1:10 am UTC
Google pushing big publishers to make Linux/Vulkan games? That's big. As long as Google won't make an exclusivity requirement. It will make perfect sense for these publishers to release their Linux versions in digital stores for Linux gamers.

Personally, I'll only find such gaming acceptable if these games will be released DRM-free alongside their "streaming" releases. Otherwise it will become DRM squared.


Last edited by Shmerl at 2 December 2018 at 1:12 am UTC
elmapul 2 December 2018 at 4:53 am UTC
BrisseThis is scary and exciting at the same time.

+ Platform and hardware no longer matters as long as it can run a web browser.
+ Linux gamers might get access to games they would never had access to otherwise.
+ Servers are going to run Linux. Potentially means more native ports will appear for those of us not streaming.
+ We got Proton and DXVK, which I suspect are parts of a secret Valve streaming project and only released in the Linux Steam client as some sort of icing on the cake.
- The ultimate DRM.
- Big corporations will have way to much power over the consumer.
- The internet will collapse under the huge bandwidth requirements.
- There will always be more latency even though some things can be done to mitigate it.

i would add:
the end of mods
elmapul 2 December 2018 at 5:04 am UTC
the youtube integration will very likely be used by streamers, and be an killer feature against twitch


ShmerlGoogle pushing big publishers to make Linux/Vulkan games? That's big. As long as Google won't make an exclusivity requirement. It will make perfect sense for these publishers to release their Linux versions in digital stores for Linux gamers.

Personally, I'll only find such gaming acceptable if these games will be released DRM-free alongside their "streaming" releases. Otherwise it will become DRM squared.

ubisoft never relase their games DRM free, streaming is just an stronger drm for then, but if they still make the game avaliable offline, then, nothing will change.

and xbox being the failure it is in the current gen is the proof that you cant demand gamers to be online to be able to play their favorite games.
Shmerl 2 December 2018 at 5:07 am UTC
elmapulubisoft never relase their games DRM free, streaming is just an stronger drm for then, but if they still make the game avaliable offline, then, nothing will change.

Well, then good riddance. I don't care about any recent Ubisoft games. They did release some older games DRM-free: https://www.gog.com/games?search=Ubisoft


Last edited by Shmerl at 2 December 2018 at 5:07 am UTC
elmapul 2 December 2018 at 6:16 am UTC
Shmerl
elmapulubisoft never relase their games DRM free, streaming is just an stronger drm for then, but if they still make the game avaliable offline, then, nothing will change.

Well, then good riddance. I don't care about any recent Ubisoft games. They did release some older games DRM-free: https://www.gog.com/games?search=Ubisoft

wow, i didnt knew that (i should have guessed, after all gog is drm free), good to know!

ok, let me rephrase it, they will not lauch it drm free, they may make it avaliable offline as drm free in the future.

in any case we have to chose what battles to fight first in order to won that war.
for example, if you have to chose between:
not having an linux version, but the windows version is DRM free
and:
having an linux version but with drm.

what would you chose?
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