Microsoft reveals details of its new video game streaming platform, Project xCloud.
Whether we want it or not, video game streaming appears to be here to stay. Sony’s PlayStation Now platform has been in operation since 2014, and in recent months execs from Xbox, Electronic Arts, Google, and Ubisoft have all spoken about the potential of delivering games to multiple devices and web browsers. Even the humble Nintendo Switch is getting the likes of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey via streaming in Japan.
In a new blog post, Microsoft has revealed more information about its own streaming service, Project xCloud.
Microsoft says the project aims to make it easy for developers to bring PC and console games to multiple platforms, including mobile devices, with no additional work. It also aims to solve traditional streaming drawbacks, such as latency, graphical fidelity and consistent frame-rates, by rolling out custom blades to data centres in 140 countries. The service will support the delivery of games over 4G and 5G networks, and in current tests is streaming at 10 megabits per second.
In the post, Kareem Choudhry, corporate vice president at Microsoft, says:
“We’ve enabled compatibility with existing and future Xbox games by building out custom hardware for our datacenters that leverages our years of console and platform experience. We’ve architected a new customizable blade that can host the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles, as well as the associated infrastructure supporting it. We will scale those custom blades in datacenters across Azure regions over time.”
Project xCloud will support Xbox Wireless controllers paired through Bluetooth, and Microsoft is also developing a new, touch-input overlay to allow users to play games without a traditional controller.
Public trials for Project xCloud are due to begin in 2019.