Microsoft Announces Game Streaming, Testing To Begin Next Year

Microsoft Announces Game Streaming, Testing To Begin Next Year

That time has now come and Project xCloud is official. Today, Microsoft also revealed that they would be entering the fray with 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. Tests are now 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".

Using advanced network techniques combined with video encoding and decoding, Microsoft is keen to let gamers stream games without having to download 100GB+ files to their devices. 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.

Microsoft has announced full details on Project xCloud, its game streaming service originally teased at E3 that allows users to play Xbox game content on a smartphone or tablet.

Scaling and building out Project xCloud is a multi-year journey for us. Public testing for the service is scheduled for 2019. Our focus is on delivering an unbelievable added experience to existing Xbox players and on empowering developers to scale to hundreds of millions of new players across devices. It could be a game changer, what if you could stream Xbox games to PlayStation or Nintendo?

As detailed in the announcement, players will be able to use an Xbox One controller connected to supported devices, and a small attachment connects the controller to a smart phone for portable gaming. Not only that, the streamed games are meant to be at PC and console-level fidelity and speed. To accommodate people playing on mobile devices, Microsoft is also developing a touchscreen control scheme that "provides maximum response in a minimal footprint". "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", say Microsoft. Targeting 4G and 5G mobile networks for portable play may seem impossible, but Microsoft seems confident that they can make it work.

Latency is obviously a big deal too, and while Microsoft didn't really delve into the specifics of how it will solve that problem, it did say that its tests are now running at 10 Mbps, with the possibility of far greater speeds and lower latency once 5G begins rolling out on a large scale.