Moving towards with its vision to make gaming available on demand and accessible from any screen Microsoft has announced a new global game streaming technology named “Project xCloud.”
Microsoft said that gaming is dedicated to devices today, but that is going to change with the Project xCloud that will give “freedom to play on any device [console or PC or mobile] without being locked to a particular device,” while empowering gamers will be at the center of gaming experience.
The company claims that now available 3,000 plus Xbox One games, including those coming in the future can easily be deployed and scaled by their developers across all devices with “no additional work” on Project xCloud.
For compatibility with existing and future Xbox games, the company has already in place custom hardware in Microsoft’s Quincy, Wash.-based Azure datacenter, said Microsoft.
This includes a new customizable blade that is capable of hosting multiple Xbox One consoles and its associated infrastructure. These custom blades will be scaled in all datacenters across Azure regions “over time.”
A look at the Project xCloud Blade:
A new game-specific touch input overlay for “maximum response in a minimal footprint” to play games without a controller is in work today.
“The immersive nature of console and PC games often requires controls mapped to multiple keys, buttons, sticks and trig, ers,” the company wrote.
To make Project XCloud a success Microsoft being a platform company is using its nearly 40 years of gaming expertise from software to hardware.
The company is also well equipped to meet complex cthe challenge of cloud game-streaming with its “datacenters in 54 Azure regions and services available in 140 countries”– to deliver a great gaming experience for players worldwide, regardless of their location.
Microsoft Research is on work creating ways to tackle latency through advances in networking topology, video encoding and decoding, and other important factors, such as graphical fidelity, and framerate.
Microsoft noted, the service is already up and running test at 10 megabits per second. It’s currently connected on mobile phones and tablets paired with Xbox Wireless Controller through Bluetooth. And will be ready to scale out and deliver after adequate testing.
The company plans to deliver game streaming on 4G networks with dynamic scaling to push the outer limits on a 5G network as they roll out.
“Our goal is 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.”
According to reports on Twitter, Microsoft could using “Project Kahawai” technology to enable high-quality gaming using CPU offload techniques.
Kahawai is a hybrid, collaborative rendering technology designed to help save bandwidth.
Compared to Google’s Project Stream, however, Microsoft says Project xCloud is a multi-year journey and the public trials will start in 2019.