Microsoft's new service, Project xCloud enabled with the state-of-the-art game streaming technology, offers the gamers the freedom to play on the device of their choice without being bound to device-specific gaming, thereby empowering the gamers to be the focus of their gaming experience.
That doesn't come immediately, however: Choudhry has confirmed Project xCloud as 'a multi-year journey,' with public trials of the service not due to begin until some time in 2019.
Project xCloud is already up and running, but it'll take a while to come to market as the company works out latency and compression technology for the best experience. "Our goal with Project xCloud is to deliver a quality experience for all gamers on all devices that's consistent with the speed and high-fidelity gamers experience and expect on their PCs and consoles". It could be a while before we hear more about when we can get our hands on Project xCloud and test it out for ourselves.
Microsoft revealed the plan just a week after Google unveiled Project Stream, its own PC gaming cloud service, which it it started trialling on Friday after many months of rumours. Would you use a controller on your mobile or touchscreen?
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The service is so-designed to be compatible with the existing and upcoming Xbox games with the help of a custom hardware built for data centers for harnessing the platform and console performance for several years. The system is being tested on mobile devices via touch input and with a Xbox Wireless Controller connected via Bluetooth.
Microsoft reckons its Azure datacenters (two of which are headed to South Africa before the sun sets on 2018) have the scale to meet the demands of Project xCloud and we tend to agree. Microsoft is now testing this service and it will be rolled out for pubic trials in 2019. Right now, Microsoft's researchers are looking to combat latency with new networking technology, in addition to tackling issues with video encoding and decoding across devices.
Problems Microsoft now face include low-latency video, frame rates, and supporting a large, multi-user network.
Microsoft gaming division Xbox is preparing for a life beyond consoles.