Project xCloud to stream Xbox games to phones, consoles

Microsoft Project xCloud Game Streaming Service Announced

Now You: Is game streaming the next big thing after console gaming? They want to be able to use apps, games, and services on all of their devices.

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.

Public trials for Project xCloud would begin in 2019, Microsoft said.

Project xCloud actually seems contradictory to Xbox's interests in a few ways. It's now being tested internally with mobile phones and tablets using both Xbox wireless controllers via Bluetooth or on-screen touch controls. The video encoding and decoding that will be required to ensure gamers see what's going on as quickly and at as high of a resolution as possible will also apparently mean 4G gaming is a possibility.

Of course, as ever with these sort of services, the result will not just depend on Microsoft's technology, network and data centers, but also the user's connection. Despite the popularity of console gaming, there are plenty of areas of the world where owning a console is an indulgent luxury or impractical due to various factors, and Microsoft wants those individuals to have access to console-style gaming even without the console.

Scaling and building out Project xCloud is a multi-year journey for us.

The first server rack supporting Project xCloud already is installed in Microsoft's Quincy, Wash. -based Azure datacenter, officials said today. A bunch of companies are working on streaming games to your devices instead.

Xbox One owners have been told about an interesting new service is being built by Microsoft with their console games collection in mind. Microsoft says that the core idea behind Project xCloud is allowing console and PC gamers to play on any platform they prefer, while giving people who exclusively game on mobile a deeper experience than they're probably used to.

The service requires a subscription and users may pick any of the available games that Sony added to the service for streaming.

Like Google, Microsoft hasn't offered any specifics on how much an eventual game streaming service might cost or what games it will include, though Microsoft says developers will be able to support game streaming with "no additional work".

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