Game streaming is slowly but surely becoming more prevalent within the gaming industry. In addition to already existing services like PlayStation Now, Google recently began to test the waters for their own service, Project Stream, with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Today, Microsoft also revealed that they would be entering the fray with Project xCloud.
Project xCloud was officially revealed on Microsoft’s blog. In the post, Microsoft details how they want to reach the point where games are “available on demand and accessible from any screen,” via streaming, just like music and movies currently are. They don’t want to make this tough on the developers either, as they apparently “will be able to deploy and dramatically scale access to their games across all devices on Project xCloud with no additional work.”
This is definitely a tall order, so Microsoft will be developing Project xCloud over multiple years; that being said, the first public trails for the service will happen in 2019. Tests are currently 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.” Obviously, Project xCloud will roll out first across areas heavily supported by Microsoft Azure, but things should grow each year from there.
As for other specifics, the tests are being run and working at a connection of 10 megabits per second, which is half the speed that Google’s Project Stream requires. To accommodate people playing on mobile devices, Microsoft is also developing a touchscreen control scheme that “provides maximum response in a minimal footprint.” While game streaming still has some major hurdles to overcome like widespread lackluster internet speeds, Project xCloud definitely seems to be taking steps in the right direction.
You can check a new video below introducing the service. Public trials for Project xCloud will begin in 2019.