Joining Google, Microsoft unveils its own cloud-based game streaming service

Joining Google, Microsoft unveils its own cloud-based game streaming service

Microsoft has revealed its ambitious quest to take on the world of video game streaming with the reveal of Project xCloud, a service which will allow users to stream AAA and indie games directly to "any" device.

As you'd expect, Project xCloud leverages all of the work Microsoft has done with cloud computing and Azure. But you won't have to wait too much longer to see it in action though, as public trials are expected to begin in 2019 (though that's as specific as Microsoft would get for now). Today, the company made the announcement we've all be waiting for, revealing Project xCloud. 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. While there will still be a need and want for physical boxes (both for games and consoles), streaming may be the future in Microsoft's eyes. Project xCloud's state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology will offer you the freedom to play on the device you want without being locked to a particular device, empowering YOU, the gamers, to be at the center of your gaming experience. Microsoft has been hinting at such a platform for quite some time, but on Monday, the company officially announced Project xCloud, giving us a glimpse at a service that will begin public testing next year.

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According to a press release from Microsoft sent out today, in 2019 the company plans to start testing Project xCloud, a streaming service where PC and console games, run on Microsoft hardware, can be streamed for play on a wide range of internet-enabled devices. This customised blade is capable of "hosting the component parts" of multiple Xbox One consoles. 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.

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".

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