Global video game smash hit “Fortnite” is now available for beta testing on Tencent’s START cloud gaming platform in parts of China, along with two other PC titles.
Why it matters: Chinese publishers have been actively building up cloud gaming services to gain a head start in a sector that could reshape the country’s entire video gaming landscape.
Details: Users need to install Tencent’s gaming platform WeGame on PC to access the titles, which also include massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) “Blade & Soul” and basketball sim “NBA2k Online.”
- A beta-testing invitation sent to players also said action role-playing game “Path of Exile” would become available on the platform soon. All three games were already available on WeGame in non-cloud mode.
- The titles are available to selected players in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, and Tianjin, as well as those in Jiangsu, Hebei, and Anhui provinces. A minimum internet speed of 20 Mbps is required.
- To play the games on START, players need to go to the community page for each game and click “play the game in the cloud,” after which WeGame will install additional files and launch the game.
- Tencent provided an account to TechNode to test out the service. Fortnite ran smoothly with barely any latency at 1920 x 1080 resolution with maximum graphics settings at 60 frames-per-second on a Surface Pro over wifi, though there was an occasional lag of one to two seconds.
- However, when the wifi speed dropped to around 27 Mbps, the game stuttered close to 20 times in a 10 minute period.
- Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TechNode.
Context: Tencent opened up registration for START beta testing in March. Prior to that, the company showcased its other cloud gaming service, Instant Play, in February. Like START, Instant Play has not yet been officially released.
- Game publisher NetEase also started testing its cloud service earlier this month, though it currently only supports mobile titles.