Today, Im 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 has already rolled out its custom server racks into one of its data centres in the United States, and public trials for the game streaming service will begin in 2019. Nowadays, the games you play are majorly dictated by your choice in the device. Still, there are unique challenges with game streaming that Microsoft is aware of: "Delivering a high-quality experience across a variety of devices must account for different obstacles, such as low-latency video streamed remotely, and support a large, multi-user network".
Built on Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure, distributed to their 54 Azure datacenters across the 140 countries, games could be streamed to nearly any device (connection dependent).
Microsoft stated that they are focusing on delivering an incredible and value-added experience to the existing Xbox players and on enabling the developers to scale to numerous new players across the devices. They've architected a new customizable blade that can host the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles, as well as the associated infrastructure supporting it.
Last June, on the occasion of the conference Xbox E3, Phil Spencer recalls that the players would soon be able to play any game, anywhere, on any medium.
Essentially, devs will need to run video games on smartphones and tablets using bluetooth Xbox controllers or via touch. Microsoft says that the touch overlay is being worked upon to provide maximum response in a minimal footprint and be game specific.
Cloud gaming has become more and more viable since now-shuttered OnLive launched its set-top box in 2010. Public trials of the service will only kick off next year, but for now, the company is recruiting developers to bring content to the service and to help with testing in a private beta.
"Developers and researchers at Microsoft Research are creating ways to combat latency through advances in networking topology, and video encoding and decoding".
Microsoft themselves seem to be sure about the success of such an endeavour, in spite of the complexities they will inevitably face.
Project xCloud will run via Microsoft's Azure servers, which are now spread out across 54 different locations globally.