Microsoft has announced its Xbox game streaming service today titled Project xCloud. It will be capable of streaming Xbox games to consoles, PCs, and mobile devices. Microsoft has said that scaling and building out the service is a “multi-year” project for the company and that it will begin public trials of Project xCloud in 2019 so that “we can learn and scale with different volumes and locations,” according to Microsoft’s cloud gaming boss Kareen Choudhry.
Project xCloud will be compatible with existing and future Xbox games as it’s powered by custom hardware that Microsoft has built for its datacenters. It architected a new customizable blade which hosts component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles in addition to associated supporting infrastructure.
It has been testing Project xCloud internally and it runs on mobile phones and tablets paired with an Xbox Wirless Controller through Bluetooth. Games are also playable using touch input. A new game-specific touch input overlay is being developed for maximum response in minimal footprint for those who want to play without a controller.
The team at Microsoft Research is working on ways to reduce latency through improvements in networking topology, video encoding and decoding. Project xCloud will make it possible to stream games on 4G networks and the test experience is currently running at 10 megabits per second. More details about the service will be revealed once public trials begin next year.