Microsoft announced a new game streaming project for Xbox yesterday, namely, Project xCloud. Microsoft is not the only one who has rolled out their game streaming service, Google announced a new experimental game streaming service, namely, Project Stream, last week, that lets the users play Assassin’s Creed in Chrome among other things.
Project xCloud is a game streaming technology that enables existing Xbox users to play on any device that they want to without being limited to a particular device. This means gamers can choose either console or PC depending on their preference. Mobile-only players can also access the worlds, characters and immersive stories that they haven’t been able to experience before on a mobile. Project xCloud provides gamers with plenty of options and does so without altering the performance and experience of the game.
“Our goal with Project xCloud is to deliver a quality experience for all gamers on all devices that’s consistent with the speed and high-fidelity gamers experience and expect on their PCs and consoles”, mentions Kareem Choudhry, Corporate VP, Gaming Cloud, Microsoft on the announcement page.”
Microsoft admits that Cloud game-streaming is a “multi-faceted, complex challenge”. In order to provide high-quality experience across different devices, it is crucial to watch out for obstacles, such as low-latency video streamed remotely, and support for a large, multi-user network.
“With our nearly 40 years of gaming experience starting with PC, as well as our deep experience of being a platform company, we are equipped to address the complex challenge of cloud game-streaming”, mentions Choudhary.
Microsoft had been working on Project xCloud over the past few years and aims to bring the public trials of this project in 2019.
Moreover, Microsoft wants to make it easy for developers to bring their content to Project xCloud and deliver an amazing experience to the existing Xbox players. Developers will be able to deploy and dramatically scale to hundreds of millions of users across all devices on Project xCloud with no additional work.
Microsoft has data centers in 54 Azure regions and services available in 140 countries, meaning that Azure has the scale to offer great gaming experience for players worldwide, regardless of their location.
“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. We’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. We will scale those custom blades in datacenters across Azure regions over time”, writes Choudhry.
Project xCloud was tested yesterday by Microsoft. The test was carried out on different devices (mobile phones, tablets) paired with an Xbox Wireless Controller through Bluetooth. As of now, the test experience is running at 10 megabits per second.
Microsoft is also developing a new, game-specific touch input overlay that offers a maximum response in a minimal footprint to players wanting to play without a controller. Additionally, Project xCloud makes game streaming possible on 4G networks.
“We are looking forward to learning with you during our public trials next year and sharing more details as we continue on this journey to the future of gaming with you at the center”, says Choudhary.
For more information, check out the official Microsoft blog.