Microsoft has revealed its ambitious quest to take on the world of video game streaming with the reveal of Project xCloud, a service which will allow users to stream AAA and indie games directly to “any” device.
xCloud is powered by custom hardware to push the games from Microsoft’s servers to the consumer
According to an official press release, Project xCloud is currently in the development testing phase, but public tests will begin sometime in 2019. Much like Google, who recently announced their own streaming service, Microsoft’s research is making sure input latency is their biggest opponent. Targeting 4G and 5G mobile networks for portable play may seem impossible, but Microsoft seems confident that they can make it work.
It’s clear that Microsoft is pouring a lot of money into xCloud’s funding. Announced alongside it, the company revealed that they are working on a new game designed around the limited controls seen on a smartphone or tablet as a form of a technical demo for the new technology.
The blog reads:
We are developing a new, game-specific touch input overlay that provides maximum response in a minimal footprint for players who choose to play without a controller.
xCloud is powered by custom hardware to push the games from Microsoft’s servers to the consumer. The “custom blade” hosts parts of multiple Xbox One consoles that then run through Microsoft’s Azure cloud system to bring the games to you.
Game streaming may end up being an essential part of gaming moving forward as gamers drop the need for physical games and systems. While there will still be a need and want for physical boxes (both for games and consoles), streaming may be the future in Microsoft’s eyes.