Many are those who want to venture or directly have already ventured with large projects of streaming for games, one step beyond the typical online game that could mean the end of graphics cards and processors in our homes. Microsoft started the road a few years ago with Project xCloud and as a result of what we are going to see next, it seems ready to start its testing program this year.
Microsoft Project xCloud: games in the cloud for the future of gaming
It seems that this project can be based on the type of business that Netflix is currently exploiting, that is, content totally in the cloud that we visualize / play on any device with only one software.
Already in 2013 Microsoft showed that the project was very advanced, because it showed an Xbox 360 game from the cloud in Windows Phone and PC.
Although Windows Phone is dead, the other competitors are still in great health and the goal is the same. According to the rumors, Microsoft could have reduced the total latency to only 45 milliseconds in a Lumia 520, so at first it shows the great potential that Redmond currently have.
Microsoft Azure, Xbox for servers and much more.
The plantes of Microsoft are based, as it could not be of another way, in Azure. Azure currently has 54 regions that cover up to 140 countries, which is a large network that allows Microsoft to position itself clearly for the Game Cloud.
For this, Microsoft’s plan goes through servers of up to four Xbox merged into modular blade servers to achieve hardware racks.
So much so, that the first rack is already available for xCloud in your Quincy data center, so everything progresses very quickly.
Hardware without software is synonymous with incomplete, so Microsoft already has the support of strategic partners such as Ubisoft, PUBG Corp and Tencent for the development of Project xCloud, so we must see a catalog of games reduced at first in its staging .
Latency is the main problem for any Game Cloud project.
Microsoft is fully aware of this, which is why it has made certain movements such as the recent investments in Mixer, but above all in what is called a new hybrid solution.
The concept is simple to explain, but for what it seems is difficult to put into practice: combine local and cloud processing.
The result of this concept would be that the latency-sensitive aspects of a game would be handled locally, while other parts, such as graphics, would be supported by the cloud.
New patents for IA.
Apparently under the patents that have been seen registered, Microsoft plans an enhanced backend for artificial intelligence.
The intention of the giant is that the titles of Xbox One are kept in cache, but within the active memory of xCloud, not being linked to the profiles of users, which allows any player to start without problems derived and requesting pre-loaded titles no loading time If we add all that has been said, it would be a step beyond what has been seen so far by projects such as Google, because when dealing with the basics at the local level, no extra latency is generated or graphic fidelity is compromised, where, in addition, the developers they would not need to invest additional resources in new platforms, since everything would be based on Xbox.
This added to the Microsoft AI would undoubtedly make the difference compared to its competitors.
Three platforms will be supported by Project xCloud
Microsoft does not want to miss the opportunity to position itself as the first multiplatform Game Cloud company, the ambition is such that they have already designed the application that will support mobile, the platform with less power of the three enabled (Xbox and PC).
Project xCloud would have been executed through an application on a Samsung Galaxy S8, where certain rumors also claim that it was even played through Bluetooth devices, which adds some extra latency.
This coincides with several points that we have discussed in previous articles, where we also advance the Microsoft Streaming console project, a fact that seems to be confirmed as time progresses.
Many games are now ready for Project xCloud
The truth is that everything is so advanced that Microsoft already has several titles ready to give the kick-off to this new service in the cloud.
And is that titles like Forza Horizon 4, Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War 4, Sea of Thieves and Cuphead have already been seen broadcasting live through this new technology and where it is rumored that even Red Dead Redemption 2 can give the I finally jump.
Although there is no official release date, Microsoft plans to offer “public tests” this year 2019, although for now there is no official announcement on the matter.
In the same way, already in 2017 Phil Spencer said that this service would arrive in the next three years, which establishes that at the latest in 2020 it would be ready.
This could coincide very clearly with the announcement and staging of Xbox Scarlett, closing the circle in a brilliant way on the part of Microsoft, so we expect without a doubt a very interesting 2019 and 2020.