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Microsoft Announces Game-Streaming Service Project xCloud

09 October 2018
Microsoft Announces Game-Streaming Service Project xCloud

Back in June, during the Xbox E3 2018 press briefing, Xbox head Phil Spencer announced that cloud engineers were building a game streaming network that would be capable streaming console-quality games on any connected device.

Public Project xCloud system testing is set to begin next year, but ultimately, Microsoft's plan is to upload any Xbox and Windows game into the cloud, then have it streamable to mobile devices.

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.

Microsoft already offers cloud gaming services to developers through Azure, which companies like Ubisoft uses to power some elements of Rainbow Six Siege.

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

Cloud-based gaming is all the buzz at the moment.

The streaming service has been built using a customizable blade that can host the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles along with all the necessary parts needed to stream said infrastructure straight to your devices.

Similar to Google's Project Stream, Project xCloud will allow you to play pretty much any game on any device via streaming. Microsoft also will continue to work on its next generation of Xbox consoles, with officials calling console gaming its "flagship service". Today, I'm excited to share with you one of our key projects that will take us on an accelerated journey to that future world: Project xCloud. Versions of Halo, Gears, Forza and Cuphead have all been shown running on a variety of mobile and tablet devices, with public trials due to start in 2019.

It's not yet clear how fast your connection will need to be to enjoy a seamless gaming experience, but Microsoft says 4G and 5G connections will be supported. 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 company promises a console-like experience on all devices.