“Netflix for gamers” has been on the tip of many a user’s tongue for what seems like ages, and it appears that we’re approaching a point of realization. Today, Microsoft its plans to stream Xbox games with “Project xCloud.”
This announcement comes just days after Google released a beta program for a similar service—Project Stream—though Microsoft’s focus is naturally on Xbox games. Project xCloud is an ambitious one, with planned availability for PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
And that’s the dream, right? To grab your phone or tablet and fire up the game you were playing on the TV just last night—regardless of where you are. Of course, an idea like this takes a lot of planning, a lot of development, and a lot of bandwidth.
As a result, Microsoft is currently planning to start public testing of xCloud at some point “in 2019.” And while other details aren’t yet available, the initial focus will be on delivering 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.”
So, basically they want to let you play the games you want on the devices you want, all without any sort of degradation in performance. The video above does an excellent job of highlighting Microsoft’s plan. It’s definitely worth a watch.
Project xCloud will work by pairing an Xbox controller to your mobile device or PC over Bluetooth, though games will work with touch controls. Generally, those two things work on opposite ends of the spectrum—games designed for controllers are typically just bad with touch, and vice versa. I’ll be interesting to see how this is combated—if it’s even addressed beyond what we commonly see with this sort of crossover control.
The key to offering a good service like this is, of course, the catalog, and an entire platform is being designed to allow developers to “be able to deploy and dramatically scale access to their games across all devices on Project xCloud with no additional work.”