×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Microsoft Unveils Game Streaming Technology Project xCloud

Microsoft officially unveiled its new global game streaming technology called “Project xCloud” on Monday.

Microsoft is testing the tech out today, it said in a blog post. Project xCloud runs on devices paired with an Xbox Wireless Controller via Bluetooth and it’s playable using touch input. It’s complementary to Microsoft’s ongoing work with console hardware, which means developers can use it to deploy and dramatically scale access to their games on xCloud with no additional work. Scaling and building out the technology is “a multi-year journey,” Microsoft said.

“Far too often, gaming remains fragmented and isolated to individual devices,” Microsoft said. “The promise and potential of the future of gaming is a world where you are empowered to play the games you want, with the people you want on any device – where you are at the center of the experience.”

“Ultimately, ‘Project xCloud’ is about providing gamers — whether they prefer console or PC — new choices in when and where they play, while giving mobile-only players access to worlds, characters, and immersive stories they haven’t been able to experience before.”

Microsoft first revealed it’s working on a game-streaming service during its E3 press conference, promising “console quality gaming on any device.” At the time, Xbox executive Phil Spencer told Variety video games are a mainstream business, and innovation is inevitable. “Frankly, we’ve been on that journey since you and I were playing on the original Xbox,” he said. “There is an evolution of experience, it is never static.”

Popular on Variety

Microsoft isn’t the only video game publisher on that journey. Electronic Arts is also working on cloud gamingVariety got to see a tech demo in June. The app looks similar to Netflix and reportedly works on everything from smart TVs to low-end Chromebooks. It will support cross-play, along with something EA calls “continuous gaming,” where a person starts playing on one device, pauses, and swaps to another device seamlessly.

“The combination of streaming with a subscription can really transform the entire industry of gaming,” EA chief technology officer Ken Moss told Variety. “We’ve seen this happen in other forms of entertainment: movies, music, with this, gaming has that same opportunity.”

Publisher Ubisoft also believes cloud gaming is the future. Co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot said in June he thinks consoles only have one more generation left before they’re replaced by platform-agnostic devices and streaming. “I think we will see another generation, but there is a good chance that step-by-step we will see less and less hardware,” he said. “With time, I think streaming will become more accessible to many players and make it not necessary to have big hardware at home.

“There will be one more console generation and then after that, we will be streaming, all of us.”

Microsoft will begin public trials for Project xCloud next year so it can learn and scale with different volumes and locations. “Our focus is on delivering an amazing experience that is additive to existing Xbox players and to empower developers to scale to hundreds of millions of new players,” it said.

More Digital

  • Apple TV Plus

    Apple TV Plus Had 'Immaterial' Revenue in Launch Quarter Amid One-Year Free Deal

    Apple reported record-setting sales of nearly $92 billion for the three months that ended 2019 — but Apple TV Plus, the flashy new subscription-video service it bowed last fall, wasn’t part of the tech giant’s growth story. Apple TV Plus revenue “was immaterial to our results” for the period, CFO Luca Maestri told analysts on [...]

  • NFL

    NFL Responds to Widespread Hack That Hijacked Social-Media Accounts

    The NFL, a week before Super Bowl LIV, was targeted by a hacking collective that temporarily commandeered social media accounts across Twitter and other platforms for the league and multiple teams. In the attack, 15 of the NFL’s teams — including the Super Bowl-bound Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers — as well as [...]

  • A security guard wears a mask

    China’s Media Regulator Cuts 'Entertaining' TV Content During Coronavirus Crisis

    China’s media regulator has responded to the deadly coronavirus epidemic sweeping the country by cutting “entertaining” TV shows and boosting news programs, it said Tuesday, at a time when millions are stuck at home under quarantine. The announcement comes just days after it declared it was also doing the opposite: actively working to bring in [...]

  • LUNA NERA

    Netflix Unveils Third Italian Original, 17th Century Witchcraft Series 'Luna Nera'

    Netflix and production company Fandango on Tuesday unveiled the streamer’s third Italian original “Luna Nera” (Black Moon), a fantasy rooted in historical reality about a group of women accused of witchery in 17th century Italy. The innovative show will drop on January 31 in the roughly 190 territories where Netflix operates. Shot in Rome’s revamped Cinecittà Studios [...]

  • Boris Johnson Grants China's Huawei Limited

    UK Grants China's Huawei Limited Role in 5G Network, Despite Security Concerns

    The British government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, decided Tuesday to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to build parts of the country’s 5G network, in defiance of U.S. concerns over national security risks and the potential for Chinese espionage. The U.K.’s National Security Council green-lit the move to go ahead with “high risk vendor” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content