Microsoft's Xcloud Is Bringing Xbox Games Anywhere You Are

Microsoft looks to take Xbox experience onto mobile

The Xbox Project xCloud is Microsoft's game streaming service that allows you to play Xbox games on virtually all mobile phones and tablets. Thus games streaming is the obvious answer and Microsoft says its Project xCloud state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology is the pinnacle of such technology, offering more than 3,000 games available on Xbox One and powered by a worldwide network of custom Azure datacentre blades. The public trial service test will begin next year. Latency poses a huge challenge for anyone developing a streaming service, or indeed playing one, but Microsoft reckons it has the best expertise and access to deliver a stronger streaming service than ever with Project xCloud.

Project xCloud aims to offer video games enthusiasts, regardless of whether they play on PC or console, the opportunity to devote themselves to their passion anywhere and anytime.

Built on Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure, distributed to their 54 Azure datacenters across the 140 countries, games could be streamed to nearly any device (connection dependent).

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It also only streams to a handful of Sony devices or a PC, and requires a £50 wireless Sony controller to play games if you don't have a PlayStation 4. A new customisable blade hosts the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles, as well as its associated infrastructure. Essentially, if you want to play using entirely touch-screen controls, Microsoft is looking to make that playstyle feel just as deep as a controller would. "Microsoft reckons that they'll be able to take some of the sting out of that work, though, with a "...new, game-specific touch input overlay that provides maximum response in a minimal footprint" in development.

For more information on Project Xcloud, please read the post on the official blog of Microsoft. The gaming world is changing, and we've seen the likes of Blade's Shadow, Nvidia's GeForce Now, Playstation Now, and even Google Chrome's own browser-based streaming solution gain traction over the past year. But is it really viable to come out with this kind of tech in 2018 or even 2019? "Delivering a high-quality experience across a variety of devices must account for different obstacles, such as low-latency video streamed remotely, and support a large, multi-user network", he said.

Currently, the test experience is running at 10 Mbps, though the team are keen to bring this down while still maintaining the same experience for gamers through advances in networking topology, and video encoding and decoding.

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