Following Google’s Project Stream announcement last week, Microsoft has unveiled more details about their cloud game streaming service, dubbed Project xCloud. Like previous undertakings before it, Project xCloud is likely not the final name for the service — although xCloud would fall in line with their Xbox line naming nicely.
First announced back at E3 2018, the cloud game streaming service will enable gamers to game where and how they want, whether it be on console, PC, or mobile devices. With a tagline like “gaming with you at the center,” Microsoft is aiming to empower you “to play the games you want, with the people you want, whenever you want, wherever you are, and on any device of your choosing.”
Microsoft’s cloud game streaming is made possible in part due to their Azure cloud centers scattered around the world. The company has been working on a new customizable server blade which utilizes component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles to provide the processing and graphics power via the web. These new blades will be distributed across different Azure regions over time, allowing the new service to be accessed by more gamers.
“Microsoft — with our nearly 40 years of gaming experience starting with PC, as well as our breadth and depth of capabilities from software to hardware and deep experience of being a platform company — is well equipped to address the complex challenge of cloud game-streaming,” wrote Kareem Choudhry – Corporate Vice President, Gaming Cloud, Microsoft in a blog post. “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.”
Of course, as gamers know, latency is a huge factor and can make or break a game online. Microsoft is currently working with developers and researchers to reduce latency and are running tests streaming content at 10Mbps. The company is looking to take advantage of, and advance, networking topology, and video encoding and decoding technology in order to “deliver high-quality experiences at the lowest possible bitrate that work across the widest possible networks.”
Project xCloud will begin public tests at some point in 2019. With any luck, Project xCloud could bring new meaning to “Xbox Play Anywhere.”
What do you think about the recent push for cloud game streaming? Are you looking forward to being able to stream games the likes of Halo or Forza across all your devices, including mobile? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.Source: Microsoft
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