Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Microsoft’s Project xCloud can stream games to phones, tablets

Microsoft’s Project xCloud can stream games to phones, tablets

Yesterday, Microsoft announced Project xCloud, a new streaming service that will apparently let people play their favorite Xbox games from any device including your tablet, smartphone, PC, and of course, your gaming console. Project xCloud trials will commence in 2019 to the test performance across different volumes and locations. The trailer showcases both Halo and Forza games being played on a mobile phone, complete with an Xbox controller usable through Bluetooth. By the way, the Microsoft Azure data centers located in more than 140 countries and therefore for the successful implementation of the service Project xCloud already have a ready base. With the launch of Project xCloud, they aim to deliver a better quality experience for all the players on all devices including a speed and high-reliability in their gaming experience.

Starting with trials next year, the "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". Microsoft has not had a way to stream Xbox One content to mobile, but that's coming soon with the announcement of Project xCloud.

This isn't a new thing for Xbox players as they've been able to stream their Xbox to their Windows 10 PCs for a while now, but this time it'll extend further than the PC. "Our focus is on delivering an incredible added experience to existing Xbox players and on empowering developers to scale to hundreds of millions of new players across devices".

Compatibility with existing and future Xbox games has been enabled by building out custom hardware in Microsoft data centres.

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Microsoft reckons its Azure datacenters (two of which are headed to South Africa before the sun sets on 2018) have the scale to meet the demands of Project xCloud and we tend to agree.

"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", the company wrote. 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 a year ago. Right now, Microsoft's researchers are looking to combat latency with new networking technology, in addition to tackling issues with video encoding and decoding across devices.

Microsoft themselves seem to be sure about the success of such an endeavour, in spite of the complexities they will inevitably face.

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