Public testing of the service is slated to begin this year, but no concrete testing dates have been provided.
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Xbox Project xCloud was demoed during an Inside Xbox Stream
Forza Horizon 4 was shown off running on an Android smartphone connected to an Xbox One Controller
There is no official date for the public testing of the service
During the Inside Xbox stream, Microsoft gave gamers a glimpse into the world of Project xCloud, the cloud game streaming service the tech giant has been working on. Microsoft announced their foray into cloud gaming at E3 2018 and back in October 2018 officially unveiled Project xCloud. In the demo given during the Inside Xbox stream, we see an Android smartphone connected to a standard Xbox One controller via Bluetooth playing Forza Horza Horizon 4. All the graphical and processing heavy weight lifting is done on the cloud giving you a console-like experience on the smartphone. Microsoft stressed during the Inside Xbox stream that the games will be playable as intended by the developer and there will be no tinkering done from Microsoft’s end. The only thing is that the processing will be taken care off in the cloud and you will be able to play the games on any device you choose so long as you have a good enough internet connection.
Microsoft didn't come outright and say a minimum speed requirement or whether the games will be playable via a 4G network, but we think these details may be revealed when the public testing begins.
If you thought that Project xCloud would replace your gaming console, then we say think again. The service is in addition to the consoles, Microsoft is expected to unveil in 2019. Microsoft is expected to showcase more than one next-generation Xbox. One will, of course, be the uber power machine that is expected to take on the PS5 and succeed the Xbox One X. The other rumoured to be a diskless Xbox One S which will be targetted at those looking to stream games and could be a cheaper alternative to the premium console.
On its official website, Xbox says, “We’re developing Project xCloud not as a replacement for game consoles, but as a way to provide the same choice and versatility that lovers of music and video enjoy today. We’re adding more ways to play Xbox games. We love what’s possible when a console is connected to a 4K TV with full HDR support and surround sound – that remains a fantastic way to experience console gaming. We also believe in empowering gamers to decide when and how to play. We believe in the future where you will be able to seamlessly access content on your phone, tablet or another connected device. Imagine that you just began a single-player campaign the day before heading out of town and want to keep playing from where you left off. Maybe you just need a few more minutes to wrap up that weekly challenge before you head into work, but your bus just won’t wait. Or maybe the living-room television is occupied by someone else in the household when you arranged to play co-op with your friends.”
This isn't the first time we have seen cloud gaming in action. At CES 2018 we saw Shadow, a cloud gaming service that streams games to your PC, tablet, phone and even TV. All you need is a controller and the app. Google’s Project stream also showcased Assassins Creed Odyssey being played via the cloud. We have also seen a service like Hatch Entertainment that gives you a Netflix like subscription and lets you stream games to your smartphone. The catch is that all these games are mobile games only. You can read more about Hatch entertainment here.
Sony also has its own game streaming service called PlayStation Now where players can stream popular PlayStation titles to their PC and consoles.
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Sameer Mitha lives for gaming and technology is his muse. When he isn’t busy playing with gadgets or video games he delves into the world of fantasy novels.
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