Electronic Arts is calling on gamers to try out the company’s cloud gaming service, Project Atlas, which begins public trials tonight, Monday 10 pm PST.
The two-week public trial will let players stream games including FIFA 19, Titanfall 2, Need for Speed Rivals and Unravel, over an internet connection without the need for the expensive gaming hardware. For now, the free trial is open to only PCs, but EA plans on also offering the technology across multiple device types, wrote Ken Moss, EA’s chief technology officer in a blog post on Monday.
Users can sign up to try, by first logging in with an EA Origin account, which anyone can create for free. The actual trial should appear as a Community Playtesting event.
EA reprentatives told PCMag that Project Atlas will arrive as a 15 MB downloadable app. The streaming itself will require an internet connection from between 5 Mbps to 30 Mbps. (At 5 Mbps, games will be rendered at about standard definition or 480p.)
“So our goal with this exclusive trial is to gather more inputs at scale to test performance and quality of service in a variety of network conditions and on multiple server routing scenarios,” Moss wrote in today’s blog post.
He pointed to the challenge of overcoming problems such as lag, which can disrupt gameplay. It’s why EA is relying on Amazon Web Services, which has data centers across the world, to power Project Atlas. “We can deploy as close to the players as possible, even in the face of unstable networks and changes in bandwidth,” Moss said.
A year ago, Moss teased EA’s upcoming work on Project Atlas, which the company has devoted 1,000 employees to. But since then, EA has been relatively quiet on the game streaming front. Google, on the other hand, has been heavily promoting the company’s Stadia game streaming service, which is set to launch in November.
Like Stadia, EA’s streaming service also plans to work over tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, and streaming media hubs, so that you can game on the go —assuming you have a fast internet connection without data caps. “For EA, our continued focus will be on making sure our games will be ready for a cloud-powered future where our players can engage and enjoy anytime, anywhere, and on any device,” Moss added.