Microsoft has announced “the future of gaming” with Project xCloud, which is an initiative to let you stream Xbox games to any device, including mobile devices. Public trials will begin next year.
Microsoft Project xCloud
In March 2018, Microsoft confirmed that it was developing a cloud gaming service. Project xCloud is the first step on the journey from physical game consoles to cloud gaming.
- “The future of gaming is a world where you are empowered to play the games you want, with the people you want, whenever you want, wherever you are, and on any device of your choosing. Our vision for the evolution of gaming is similar to music and movies — entertainment should be available on demand and accessible from any screen. Today, I’m excited to share with you one of our key projects that will take us on an accelerated journey to that future world: Project xCloud,” said Kareem Choudhry, Corporate VP, Gaming Cloud, Microsoft.
Microsoft wants to “make it easy for developers to bring their content to Project xCloud” and further explains that Project xCloud is about building the technology required to stream games on a global scale. This involves solving latency, streaming quality, and other challenges. Microsoft has also started installing Xbox One hardware in its Azure data centers that spans 54 regions and cover 140 countries.
The company is rumored to be planning a streaming-only Xbox console along with a new high-end Xbox console that is expected to debut around 2020.
Earlier this month, Google announced a similar cloud gaming streaming initiative called Project Stream. Google is also rumored to be developing a game console. Both lag behind Sony who is already operating the PlayStation Now game streaming service. However, PlayStation Now is available only in a few regions.
The Project xCloud technology is already active and running as an internal test, said Microsoft. The test runs on mobile phones and tablets paired with an Xbox controller via Bluetooth. It will also work with touchscreens. Right now, it requires a 10 Mb/s internet connection but the technology will eventually dynamically scale to fit your internet connection, and even “push against the outer limits of what’s possible on 5G networks”.
Microsoft expects to begin public trials in 2019 but did not comment on a time frame for the official launch.