Microsoft has made a bold step towards what is widely expected to be the future of gaming and officially announced the brand new game streaming platform revealed at E3 dubbed Project xCloud.
With the tagline ‘console quality gaming on any device’, the service is primed to break down platform barriers and allow just about anyone with a smart or tablet to play all and every game on demand. The driving concept being to endow gamers with the ability to play a game which isn’t natively available on their device from anywhere in the world.
The ‘state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology’ behind Project xCloud adheres to accepted streaming wisdom, but beefs it up considerably with the use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud run data centers scattered around the world packed to the brim with console hardware. This hardware is essentially streamlined compact Xbox One consoles as ‘a new customizable blade that can host the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles’. As it stands, Microsoft has the Project xCloud infrastructure in place at their data center in Quincy, WA with plans to deploy to 54 regions in 140 countries.
In a nifty polished announcement trailer, we get a glimpse of a wireless Bluetooth Xbox One controller attached to a smartphone with a purpose built peripheral. Those without a dedicated controller will be able to play using Microsoft developed touch input controls.
Our natural reaction is to question how will Microsoft guarantee a smooth experience and ensure latency levels remain low. Microsoft has been working to develop not only the Azure cloud tech detailed above, but also increase bandwidth and tap into the next gen 5G networks set to be adopted worldwide soon. Microsoft is clearly being ambitious, saying ‘Our goal with Project xCloud is to deliver a quality experience for all gamers on all devices that’s consistent with the speed and high-fidelity gamers experience and expect on their PCs and consoles’.
ETA? Microsoft says ‘We have it up and running today and when we have just right, we’re going to scale it out in an epic way and deliver it to the world.’ Internal testing will continue moving forward with public trials scheduled for 2019.