Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Microsoft Will Roll Out Video Game Streaming Service in 2019

Microsoft Will Roll Out Video Game Streaming Service in 2019

The video games streaming service that Xbox head Phil Spencer announced back at E3 2018 now has an official name, Project xCloud.

Microsoft won't begin public testing its promised game streaming service until 2019, but the company already is doing work on the "intelligent cloud" piece of the infrastructure in anticipation of that offering.

The service uses Microsoft's Azure as a backbone to set up new datacenters, with customized hardware that uses the parts of multiple Xbox One consoles.

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

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Project xCloud is a new game streaming service by Microsoft for PCs, Xbox consoles, and mobile devices.

The Redmond giant may ultimately come out on top, however, given its years of experience in both console gaming and cloud computing.

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.

Microsoft is now testing Project xCloud with phones and tablets using Xbox Wireless Controllers through Bluetooth. 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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In the case of mobile devices, the company is working on a new touch overlay in case you don't have a controller handy.

Project xCloud will have the capability to make game streaming possible on 4G networks, Microsoft says. The new streaming service is now being tested with public trials set to start in 2019. It's now being tested internally with mobile phones and tablets using both Xbox wireless controllers via Bluetooth or on-screen touch controls.

"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". The company promises a console-like experience on all devices.

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