Google has unveiled a new console-free gaming service that will stream content from the cloud directly to users' homes, but it will require consumers to have a fast, reliable broadband connection to work.
The project, named Stadia, aims to let people play the latest triple-A titles without the need for expensive hardware in their own home. Instead, users will be able to stream the titles remotely to their TV, PC or phone. No pricing has yet been revealed, but it is expected to launch as a subscription-based service later this year.
However, in order to make the most of it, a decent broadband connection will be a must. In the past, streaming-based gaming services have been hampered by poor speeds. This can result in gamers suffering from lag that make it hard to play fast-paced games, where a split-second delay can be the difference between winning and losing.
This time, however, Google believes the technology has advanced far enough to make streaming a viable option for many home users, provided they have the right broadband package.
In an interview with gaming site Kotaku, the firm's Phil Harrison said that in order to play games in 1080p high definition at 60 frames per second, users will need a connection of about 25Mbps.
Most entry-level fibre packages today offer average speeds of around 36Mbps, so in theory, this should be enough to handle Stadia comfortably, although there are many other factors that could affect the speed an individual home receives.
Currently, around 96 per cent of homes in the UK are able to receive a 'superfast' broadband connection, which is defined as speeds of at least 24Mbps, so the vast majority of users should be able to access Stadia if they have the right package.
Mr Harrison stated that for 4K quality, Google's innovations mean users should only need around 30Mbps, though he added that if speeds do fall below the recommended minimum - perhaps due to congestion, for example - users should not miss out.
"If you have less bandwidth, we’ll give you a lower resolution… We do a lot of that for you in the background, and we will only offer up the appropriate bandwidth for the infrastructure that you have," he said.