Let’s face it, streaming is dominating the court at the moment. Netflix paved the way for streaming, and most of us laughed at the concept. Now, we have literally hundreds of imitations all trying to cash into the home streaming craze. Then we had Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now; and whilst both are sharing issues with their streaming platforms thanks to early days of the services (including all Activision Blizzard, 2K, and Bethesda games being pulled from Nvidia's service, and Google Stadia struggling to get games on the platform along with plenty launch issues), Microsoft has been quietly working on their own video game streaming platform.
Project xCloud was unveiled a while ago, all the way back in 2018 in fact, but Microsoft has been pretty quiet about it since then. They had beta signups available, but it was only for android devices. The essential idea of Project xCloud was this: stream Xbox games to any device (phone, laptop, tablet etc.) either directly from your Xbox or straight from cloud servers.
But even though Microsoft hasn’t been giving us many details, apparently they are testing the service for Windows 10 PC’s internally, making the platform available to all Microsoft employees, with a large variety of games available for them to test. Apparently it’s only capable of 720p streaming at the moment with 1080p coming soon, most likely just to test the software and streaming capabilities, rather than just quality. It’s most likely those 1080p tests will be available shortly, but whether or not it will be available internally still or for the public is a mystery at the moment.
Apparently the PC experience is very similar to the iOS and Android services, including the user interface and the way in which you can stream games. It does require an Xbox One controller, a Microsoft Account and a good internet connection though.
Microsoft also apparently upgraded their blade servers recently, from 4 to 8 Xbox One S processors in a single server instance, and they are looking to upgrade these even further to the Xbox Series X processors when they become available. Meaning next-gen games with next-gen graphics (hello, raytracing) will be available on the service soon.
Microsoft’s Project xCloud will reportedly be released this year, and will include compatibility with their Xbox Game Pass, allowing users to stream directly from the service using their cloud servers.
What do you think of Project xCloud? Do you think it will be good? Are you excited for it? Or is it just another game streaming service with nothing special? Let us know your thoughts!