On Monday Microsoft unveiled its plans and development for new game streaming service Project xCloud, which will allow users to play from any device, anywhere. Designed to work across consoles, PCs, tablets and smartphones, the core aim of Project xCloud is to allow users to experience a high quality, immersive gaming experience without the necessity of a traditional gaming console. As Vice President of Gaming Cloud at Microsoft Kareem Choudhry explains “Today, the games you play are very much dictated by the device you are using. Project xCloud’s state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology will offer you the freedom to play on the device you want without being locked to a particular device, empowering YOU, the gamers, to be at the center of your gaming experience.” Public trials for the service are set to begin in 2019 so as to “learn and scale with different volumes and locations.”
The service would allow users to play games via mobile devices through the use of paired Bluetooth connected Xbox wireless controllers, or for those with no access to a controller or who desire a little more subtlety, Microsoft is developing a “new, game-specific touch input overlay that provides maximum response in a minimal footprint for players who choose to play without”.
With the announcement of Project xCloud and other similar cloud based game streaming services (last week Google announced its own service, Project Stream) comes questions of latency and fidelity, which Microsoft believes they’re ready to combat. “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. 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.” With Azure cloud technology having datacenters in 54 regions and services available in 140 countries, Microsoft assures users it “has the scale to deliver a great gaming experience for players worldwide, regardless of their location.”
Yep, this all means that you could be playing Red Dead Redemption off your phone on your morning commute in no time. Check out the video Microsoft has released and stay tuned for more information in the coming year, the future is bright for gaming.