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Microsoft unveils Project xCloud game streaming technology

09 October, 2018, 00:45 | Author: Tara Roberts
  • Microsoft debuts Project xCloud for streaming games to PCs and phones

Microsoft Research is involved in Project xCloud, too. The immersive nature of console and PC games often requires controls that are mapped to multiple keys, buttons, sticks and triggers.

The service is not dissimilar to Google's Project Stream (seriously, there are other words than "project", people; whip out a thesaurus), revealed last week, which would allow users to play newly-released, AAA titles on their Chrome browsers. xCloud presents the same drawbacks as Google's Project though.

At E3 2018 in June, head of Xbox Phil Spencer took the Xbox stage to announce Microsoft's plans for streaming-based games.

Microsoft Corp. today previewed Project xCloud, an upcoming service meant to make video games that now require a personal computer or a gaming console playable on mobile devices.

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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. Our focus is on delivering an awesome added experience to existing Xbox players and on empowering developers to scale to hundreds of millions of new players across devices. But even as Microsoft has worked to improve the Xbox product line by introducing the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, it's also been tearing down the walls between console and PC owners. Azure has datacenters in 140 countries, so Microsoft feels it is already in a strong position to roll out the service wide-scale. "We are developing a new, game-specific touch input overlay that provides maximum response in a minimal footprint for players who choose to play without a controller", the blog post says.

Developers and researchers at Microsoft Research are creating ways to combat latency through advances in networking topology, and video encoding and decoding.

Microsoft's and Google's push into game streaming come as carries worldwide start bringing the first 5G networks online.

Microsoft acknowledges this is in their blog, where they claim their test experience is now running at 10 megabits per second, but stops short of explaining how they get around the problem.


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