Microsoft reveals its Project xCloud game streaming service

In a post on the Official Microsoft Blog, Kareem Choudhry, Corporate Vice President of Cloud Gaming said the following.

Microsoft Research is involved in Project xCloud, too. Not only that, the streamed games are meant to be at PC and console-level fidelity and speed.

Of course, as ever with these sort of services, the result will not just depend on Microsoft's technology, network and data centers, but also the user's connection.

Something to look forward to: Microsoft has revealed the details of its game streaming service.

Similar to Google's Project Stream, Project xCloud will allow you to play pretty much any game on any device via streaming.

Microsoft apparently want this to be the first step towards a future where every game is available to players regardless of hardware owned, and that sure is an optimistic world to imagine.

"Our vision is for gamers to have access to the same content via game streaming that they do on other platforms, without any additional work required by the game developer", the spokesperson said. According to the video caption, what we're seeing in the example video is actual gameplay footage streamed to the Android phone via Project xCloud. Our focus is on delivering an wonderful added experience to existing Xbox players and on empowering developers to scale to hundreds of millions of new players across devices.

The service uses Microsoft's Azure as a backbone to set up new datacenters, with customized hardware that uses the parts of multiple Xbox One consoles. It's now being tested internally with mobile phones and tablets using both Xbox wireless controllers via Bluetooth or on-screen touch controls.

To combat latency, Microsoft will utilize 54 Azure locations that support 140 countries. Targeting 4G and 5G mobile networks for portable play may seem impossible, but Microsoft seems confident that they can make it work. The company promises a console-like experience on all devices. "We are developing a new, game-specific touch input overlay that provides maximum response in a minimal footprint for players who choose to play without a controller", he explained.

Vanessa Coleman

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