Sci-tech

Project xCloud is Microsoft’s game streaming service, trials to start in 2019

Project xCloud is Microsoft’s game streaming service, trials to start in 2019”

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.

As you'd expect, Project xCloud leverages all of the work Microsoft has done with cloud computing and Azure. "Developers of the more than 3,000 games available on Xbox One today, and those building the thousands that are coming in the future, will be able to deploy and dramatically scale access to their games across all devices on Project xCloud with no additional work". Users would be able to play their games no matter if they were on a phone or tablet.

The first public trials are expected to start in 2019, with that beta testing going towards perfecting the technology and then rolling it out across the world. The immersive nature of console and PC games often requires controls that are mapped to multiple keys, buttons, sticks and triggers. An example given was Xbox games running on a tablet or smartphone, where players would have the choice to either connect an Xbox One controller to the device via Bluetooth, or use touch screen controls, in order to play through their games. Kareem Choudhry, Corporate Vice President, Gaming Cloud at Microsoft shared today the first details about the company's "state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology", which will go in public preview next year. This customised blade is capable of "hosting the component parts" of multiple Xbox One consoles. In addition to solving latency, other important considerations are supporting the graphical fidelity and framerates that preserve the artist's original intentions, and the type of input a player has available. Azure has datacenters in 140 countries, so Microsoft feels it is already in a strong position to roll out the service wide-scale. 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. Currently, the test experience is running at 10 megabits per second. Targeting 4G and 5G mobile networks for portable play may seem impossible, but Microsoft seems confident that they can make it work.



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