Microsoft reveals its Project xCloud game streaming service

Microsoft unveils Xbox Project xCloud game streaming

In the post, Microsoft details how they want to reach the point where games are "available on demand and accessible from any screen", via streaming, just like music and movies now are.

Project xCloud will leverage Microsoft's existing data centers across the globe, literally loading up servers with the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles, and using these to run the games streamed directly to your mobile device of choice. With datacenters in 54 Azure regions and services available in 140 countries, Azure has the scale to deliver a great gaming experience for players worldwide, regardless of their location. Microsoft has positioned the service as a way for people to play games without having to worry about what device they own, while Xbox followed the "offer strong exclusives or die" mantra. The company promises that it's working on all fronts to make sure this is a slick experience, including figuring out new ways of carrying out video encoding and decoding.

As Phil Spencer previously said during E3, Project xCloud will also work on mobile devices including phones and tablets, and Kareem Choundry revealed today that an Xbox wireless controller won't be mandatory on those devices.

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According to an official press release, Project xCloud is now in the development testing phase, but public tests will begin sometime in 2019. 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. In concrete terms, that means, you can play, for instance, Sea of Thieves on XBox One, PC or on your phone.

The test experience is now running at 10Mbps, with the company aiming 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". Today, Microsoft its plans to stream Xbox games with "Project xCloud". "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 announcement goes on. With a beta test scheduled to start in 2019, Microsoft is slowly making the hardware available at its various Azure centres.

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