Microsoft Announces Project xCloud Game Streaming Service

Microsoft unveils Xbox Project xCloud game streaming

Mobile streaming seems to be a major focus of Project xCloud, and Microsoft already has the hardware and accessories to facilitate it. Microsoft is now testing Project xCloud on smartphones and tablets that have been paired with an Xbox One controller through Bluetooth. In a post on the Official Microsoft Blog, Kareem Choudhry, Corporate Vice President of Cloud Gaming said the following. Microsoft already made its belief in that future clear with Xbox Game Pass, but now it's revealed the platform-agnostic Project xCloud service to show that its vision for game streaming isn't limited to Xbox.

Don't expect a release date any time soon, as Microsoft says that scaling and building Project xCloud will be a "multi-year journey".

The company will begin public trials of xCloud will begin next year.

Of course, as ever with these sort of services, the result will not just depend on Microsoft's technology, network and data centers, but also the user's connection. Game-streaming services themselves are not new: Sony has its PlayStation Now service; Ubisoft is partnering with Google to have Assassin's Creed Odyssey stream in the Chrome browser; and Capcom's Resident Evil 7 is available on Nintendo Switch in Japan via streaming. Many of us expected this tease to be for a project a long way away, but an announcement today makes it seem like it might actually be fairly close.

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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.
The company promises that it's working on all fronts to make sure this is a slick experience, including figuring out new ways of carrying out video encoding and decoding.

The test experience is now running at 10Mbps, with the company aiming to "deliver high-quality experiences at the lowest possible bitrate that work across the widest possible networks, taking into consideration the uniqueness of every device and network".

Microsoft is now testing Project xCloud with phones and tablets using Xbox Wireless Controllers through Bluetooth. Our goal is to deliver high-quality experiences at the lowest possible bitrate that work across the widest possible networks, taking into consideration the uniqueness of every device and network.

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