Microsoft announces its take on game streaming: Project xCloud

Microsoft Project xCloud Game Streaming Service Announced

Microsoft Project xCloud Game Streaming Service Announced

It's not exactly a secret that Microsoft has been trying to figure out a way to make game streaming work.

Mobile streaming seems to be a major focus of Project xCloud, and Microsoft already has the hardware and accessories to facilitate it. Microsoft is now testing Project xCloud on smartphones and tablets that have been paired with an Xbox One controller through Bluetooth.

"We've enabled compatibility with existing and future Xbox games by building out custom hardware for our datacenters that leverages our years of console and platform experience", Kareem Choudhry, the corporate vice president of Microsoft's Gaming Cloud group, wrote in a blog post.

Microsoft has energized the gaming world today with its announcement of Project xCloud, a new service "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". Today, Microsoft also revealed that they would be entering the fray with Project xCloud.

Silhouettes of laptop and mobile device users are seen next to a screen projection of Microsoft logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018.

The company will begin public trials of xCloud will begin next year. It could be a game changer, what if you could stream Xbox games to PlayStation or Nintendo? 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. The project aims to bring console-quality games to PC, consoles, and smart phone devices, and will be rolling out public trials starting in 2019.

Developers and researchers at Microsoft Research are creating ways to combat latency through advances in networking topology, and video encoding and decoding.

According to Microsoft, the current iteration of xCloud requires connection speeds of at least 10 megabits per second to stream games. Project xCloud will have the capability to make game streaming possible on 4G networks and. push against the outer limits of what's possible on 5G networks. To that end, the company is also working on game-specific touch controls for those who prefer them.

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