Microsoft Announce Project xCloud, Streaming Games To Console, PC, And Mobile

Microsoft have just dropped a bombshell and announced Project xCloud, a new streaming service that will allow developers of current and future games to stream them to any device, be that mobile, PC or console.


“Today, the games you play are very much dictated by the device you are using,” said Microsoft in a blog post. “Project xCloud’s state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology will offer you the freedom to play on the device you want without being locked to a particular device, empowering YOU, the gamers, to be at the center of your gaming experience.”

“To realize this vision, we know we must make it easy for developers to bring their content to Project xCloud,” they continue. “Developers of the more than 3,000 games available on Xbox One today, and those building the thousands that are coming in the future, will be able to deploy and dramatically scale access to their games across all devices on Project xCloud with no additional work.”

Public trials will begin in 2019 but the system is already up and running for devices paired with an Xbox One controller. However, Microsoft are also 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.”

Microsoft will be using their Azure network for Project xCloud and say it does work on current 4G networks and is running at 10 megabits per second, but will scale as 5G becomes more widely available. “With datacenters in 54 Azure regions and services available in 140 countries, Azure has the scale to deliver a great gaming experience for players worldwide, regardless of their location,” say Microsoft.

“Our goal is to deliver high-quality experiences at the lowest possible bitrate that work across the widest possible networks, taking into consideration the uniqueness of every device and network,” they conclude.

What do you think of Microsoft’s streaming idea? It could be a game changer, what if you could stream Xbox games to PlayStation or Nintendo? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Microsoft


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  1. Will this not, in theory at least, make the console redundant? I must be missing something here so please excuse my ignorance (read: don’t laugh at my expense due to my vast technological ignorance). Guess MS probably don’t make big bucks on the hardware and potentially make losses with money being made back on cloud based things like Xbox live and games pass. If MS can bring these services to the masses and make a tidy profit in this area then the losses (or small profits) on the hardware become a non-issue. Is this effectively MS trying to go down the streaming only service in the long run? I may have answered my own question here..

    Regardless of the above, if my broadband can support it and streaming doesn’t compromise the gameplay experience then I couldn’t give too hoots if it’s all cloud based. As long as I can play Red Dead 3 and other as yet unreleased games in some manner then no worries. While I don’t agree with digital purchases (cost still akin to physical and no resale value), I have less issue with cheaper digital renting services if the infrastructure is sound. And breathe……

  2. Not sure I’d call this a bombshell, as things will be going down the streaming path sooner or later anyway, like with all other media (music, movies, etc.). So it’s not that surprising.

    MS tried the always-on thing before, with very limited success, it messed up this gen for them. Maybe it’ll be better timing in the future, as internet reliability will have increased a lot by then, but I guess they better be careful not to repeat their mistake.

    Why would I want to stream Xbox games to my Playstation? Because they bought Ninja Theory? I’m not convinced there’s enough of an incentive in that for quite a few years to come.

    My user experience in the middle of Europe in 2018 is that streaming still has a lot to improve to work sufficiently reliable to make me switch to it for gaming. Netflix was unable to offer me a reliable service, as it simply didn’t work on my PS4, and their customer service is abominable. When I watch a simple video, e.g. an E3 Press conference, there’s regular stutters, and even a low bandwidth service like Spotify is not as reliable on my devices as I would like it to be. In many parts of the world it’s probably much worse.

  3. So Sony do it with PS Now, and half the internet (the louder half) says “it’s shit, we want to download the games”. (I was actually very impressed with it, but not at that price. The new 12 month deals are tempting though)

    Then MS do something cheaper, with a lot less games, which _does_ let you download the games. And most of the internet loves it, despite being worse value. And a bunch of shops get upset.

    So Sony copy MS and nobody seems that interested. Even with more games, for less money (if you pay for 12 months), and downloads.

    What exactly are MS thinking with launching a streaming version? The thing that the noisier half of the internet hated. And with bandwidth requirements that seem to be higher than Sony’s. Is it their usual thing of “Someone else is doing something, let’s copy it and throw a bucket of money at it to try and put a stop to that”? I can see them offering streaming as an option for their Game Pass thing at no extra cost. Which is obviously going to cost them a lot.

    And Sony’s lawyers must be busy searching through all the patents right now. They paid enough for them.

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