December 17, 2018

Microsoft Announces Project xCloud Game Streaming Service

08 October 2018, 09:01 | Megan Pierce

Microsoft unveils Xbox Project xCloud game streaming

Microsoft's Project xCloud Will Let You Play All Your Games on All Your Platforms

Microsoft has been testing the xCloud service with Xbox pads connected to consoles, mobile devices, and PCs so far, and the company is in the middle of research to combat latency and ensure that streaming can be offered to players without a hitch - after all, that's what hamstrung services like Ouya, PlayStation Now and others so far.

However, there are internal tests for Project xCloud going on right now.

Public trials will begin in 2019 but the system is already up and running for devices paired with an Xbox One controller.

Project xCloud sounds like it has a lot of promise.

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Microsoft has finally revealed more details about its game streaming technology, which the company has been drumming up for a while now.

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.

According to a press release from Microsoft sent out today, in 2019 the company plans to start testing Project xCloud, a streaming service where PC and console games, run on Microsoft hardware, can be streamed for play on a wide range of internet-enabled devices. It brashly boasts its expertise in the area in its blog post announcing xCloud, and has created a customizable blade tailored to hosting the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles.

It's not exactly a secret that Microsoft has been trying to figure out a way to make game streaming work. And, if you're thinking about trying to fit all those controller buttons on a phone screen, Microsoft claims to be 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". Targeting 4G and 5G mobile networks for portable play may seem impossible, but Microsoft seems confident that they can make it work. The current test service is apparently running on 10 megabits per second, pushing the upper limits of 5G Wi-Fi speeds which isn't even really a thing yet for most people. Now, the company has lifted the lid on its service, which involves using custom-built Xbox "blade" hardware in datacenters across Azure regions to stream Xbox One games to various devices.

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