Xbox game streaming revealed as Project xCloud

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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.

That time has now come and Project xCloud is official.

Before the public test next year, Microsoft is now testing Project xCloud on phones and tablets internally.

We are testing Project xCloud today.

Microsoft apparently want this to be the first step towards a future where every game is available to players regardless of hardware owned, and that sure is an optimistic world to imagine.

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To that end, Microsoft has built custom hardware called "blades" using the components inside Xbox One consoles and has begun installing those blades in Azure datacenters worldwide. To accommodate people playing on mobile devices, Microsoft is also developing a touchscreen control scheme that "provides maximum response in a minimal footprint".

The company claims that the current arsenal of over 3,000 Xbox One games at its disposal can be easily deployed and scaled by their respective developers with "no additional work", and will likely be a major selling point for enticing game studios to adopt Microsoft's nascent technology.

"Ultimately, Project xCloud is about providing gamers - whether they prefer console or PC - new choices in when and where they play, while giving mobile-only players access to worlds, characters and immersive stories they haven't been able to experience before." wrote Corporate Vice President Kareem Choudhry.

Latency is obviously a big deal too, and while Microsoft didn't really delve into the specifics of how it will solve that problem, it did say that its tests are now running at 10 Mbps, with the possibility of far greater speeds and lower latency once 5G begins rolling out on a large scale. Project xCloud will have the capability to make game streaming possible on 4G networks and will dynamically scale to push against the outer limits of what's possible on 5G networks as they roll out globally. 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.