Microsoft Announces Game Streaming, Testing To Begin Next Year

Microsoft Project xCloud Game Streaming Service Announced

Microsoft unveils Xbox Project xCloud game streaming

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.

You'll be able to use an Xbox controller hooked up to your mobile via Bluetooth, or if you want to dispense with that, Microsoft is promising touch controls that will work just fine as an alternative.

"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. To that end, Microsoft is making it as easy as possible for Xbox One game developers to adapt their content for Project xCloud with no additional effort.

Microsoft has officially unveiled Project xCloud, its game streaming service. Game-streaming services themselves are not new: Sony has its PlayStation Now service; Ubisoft is partnering with Google to have Assassin's Creed Odyssey stream in the Chrome browser; and Capcom's Resident Evil 7 is available on Nintendo Switch in Japan via streaming.

More importantly in the context of Project xCloud, Microsoft operates one of the world's largest infrastructure-as-a-service platforms.

It is also working with advanced networking technologies like 5G and Microsoft's own Azure network worldwide to ensure latency will be an issue of the past.

Microsoft isn't the first company to launch a video games streaming service, but Project xCloud being available on phones and tablets is quite unprecentended.

We are testing Project xCloud today.

Public tests of the Project xCloud service are set to begin in 2019, with Microsoft saying the tests will help it "learn and scale with different volumes and locations".

Latency is obviously a big deal too, and while Microsoft didn't really delve into the specifics of how it will solve that problem, it did say that its tests are now running at 10 Mbps, with the possibility of far greater speeds and lower latency once 5G begins rolling out on a large scale. Targeting 4G and 5G mobile networks for portable play may seem impossible, but Microsoft seems confident that they can make it work.

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