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

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According to Microsoft, internal testing of Project xCloud is happening now, with public trials coming in 2019.

Announced via his website's blog, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Kareem Choudhry revealed Project xCloud, the service that's meant to allow gamers to be able to stream games across all Microsoft platforms. The company expects to begin public trials of the service next year.

As for the content that will be available on Protect xCloud, Choundry said that Microsoft has "enabled compatibility with existing and future Xbox games", and that the company is already inviting game developers to get on board. Microsoft is working on ways to limit the latency usually experienced when streaming games. Tests are now being run with recent and upcoming games at Microsoft, and data centers have been supplied with a "new customizable blade that can host the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles".

Project xCloud will let players around the world be able to stream Xbox games to whatever device they wish to play on be it your laptop or even your phone when you're out and about. "We are 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", the blog post says.

It also looks that Microsoft has been working on their own custom hardware to power this service.

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Though Microsoft's announcement touches on well known game streaming problems like latency and fidelity, it does not say exactly how these problems will be addressed beyond just making more servers available to more people.

Of course, as ever with these sort of services, the result will not just depend on Microsoft's technology, network and data centers, but also the user's connection. We've seen Switch in Japan running more powerful games via streaming, and we've seen Assassin's Creed Odyssey announced for streaming via Chrome, so it really does seem like the streaming future is on the way.

Cloud-based gaming is all the buzz at the moment. Azure has datacenters in 140 countries, so Microsoft feels it is already in a strong position to roll out the service wide-scale.

While this is being tested with mobile devices now, you can bet we'll also see this move over to PCs as well.

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