Introducing Project xCloud (public testing coming in 2019)

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pravus

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#1

https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2018/10/08/project-xcloud-gaming-with-you-at-the-center/

The future of gaming is a world where you are empowered to play the games you want, with the people you want, whenever you want, wherever you are, and on any device of your choosing. Our vision for the evolution of gaming is similar to music and movies — entertainment should be available on demand and accessible from any screen. Today, I’m excited to share with you one of our key projects that will take us on an accelerated journey to that future world: Project xCloud.

Today, the games you play are very much dictated by the device you are using. Project xCloud’s state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology will offer you the freedom to play on the device you want without being locked to a particular device, empowering YOU, the gamers, to be at the center of your gaming experience.

Content and community

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.

To realize this vision, we know we must make it easy for developers to bring their content to Project xCloud. Developers of the more than 3,000 games available on Xbox One today, and those building the thousands that are coming in the future, will be able to deploy and dramatically scale access to their games across all devices on Project xCloud with no additional work.

About Project xCloud

Scaling and building out Project xCloud is a multi-year journey for us. We’ll begin public trials in 2019 so we can learn and scale with different volumes and locations. Our focus is on delivering an amazing added experience to existing Xbox players and on empowering developers to scale to hundreds of millions of new players across devices. Our goal with Project xCloud is to deliver 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.

We’ve enabled compatibility with existing and future Xbox games by building out custom hardware for our datacenters that leverages our years of console and platform experience. We’ve architected a new customizable blade that can host the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles, as well as the associated infrastructure supporting it. We will scale those custom blades in datacenters across Azure regions over time.


We are testing Project xCloud today. The test runs on devices (mobile phones, tablets) paired with an Xbox Wireless Controller through Bluetooth, and it is also playable using touch input. The immersive nature of console and PC games often requires controls that are mapped to multiple keys, buttons, sticks and triggers. We are developing a new, game-specific touch input overlay that provides maximum response in a minimal footprint for players who choose to play without a controller.



A game runs via Project xCloud with a prototype touch overlay.
Cloud game-streaming is a multi-faceted, complex challenge. Unlike other forms of digital entertainment, games are interactive experiences that dynamically change based on player input. Delivering a high-quality experience across a variety of devices must account for different obstacles, such as low-latency video streamed remotely, and support a large, multi-user network. In addition to solving latency, other important considerations are supporting the graphical fidelity and framerates that preserve the artist’s original intentions, and the type of input a player has available.

Microsoft — with our nearly 40 years of gaming experience starting with PC, as well as our breadth and depth of capabilities from software to hardware and deep experience of being a platform company — is well equipped to address the complex challenge of cloud game-streaming. With datacenters in 54 Azure regions and services available in 140 countries, Azure has the scale to deliver a great gaming experience for players worldwide, regardless of their location.



Developers and researchers at Microsoft Research are creating ways to combat latency through advances in networking topology, and video encoding and decoding. Project xCloud will have the capability to make game streaming possible on 4G networks and will dynamically scale to push against the outer limits of what’s possible on 5G networks as they roll out globally. Currently, the test experience is running at 10 megabits per second. Our goal is to deliver high-quality experiences at the lowest possible bitrate that work across the widest possible networks, taking into consideration the uniqueness of every device and network.

We are looking forward to learning with you during our public trials next year and sharing more details as we continue on this journey to the future of gaming with you at the center. Stay tuned!

Thanx,

Kareem
 

pravus

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#2
I guess this could probably go in the multiplatform section? I dunno, I'll leave it for someone else to move if they decide it should.
 

VaLLiancE

X Enhanced 4 2018
Sep 11, 2013
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#5
Heck no
 

eVo7

Well-Known Member
Sep 13, 2013
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#6
Absolutely not.

OnLive was awful.
NVIDIA GRID was awful.
PS Now is awful.

Streaming games are awful.
 

Mcmasters

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Sep 11, 2013
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#7
I guess this could probably go in the multiplatform section? I dunno, I'll leave it for someone else to move if they decide it should.
Multiplat? Nah...
 

Mcmasters

Say my name...
Sep 11, 2013
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#8
If anyone can get this even close to working right, it's Microsoft. I look forward to more information about this technology.
 

de3d1

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Sep 11, 2013
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#9
It's funny to hear the negative Nancy's who have no idea what the results will be to the technology. Do people not think MS is aware of the downfalls of streaming? Do people really think MS will provide a service that's the same as the already heavily critized options avaible now? There are so many examples of technology that sucked at first then were widely accepted as premier later. Let's give some of the world's best engineers with millions of dollars in budget a chance over... forum dudes with opinions and zero insight as to what the actual current solution strategies are and how they'll be implemented.
 

Edge BC

Mistwalker fan
Sep 16, 2013
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#10
"Currently, the test experience is running at 10 megabits per second. Our goal is to deliver high-quality experiences at the lowest possible bitrate that work across the widest possible networks, taking into consideration the uniqueness of every device and network."

This would be some kind of sorcery. It would be cool to have this work on a Smart tv. To have your Xbox library instantly accessible, no matter what friend you're visiting, whether he has an Xbox console or not.
 

Hedon

Hedonism
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#11
Not interested
 

Dno69

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#12
I hope this a part of Gold and not something extra.
 

pravus

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#13
I hope this a part of Gold and not something extra.
Same. I hope it's the case that if you own a game digitally, you can stream it.
 

D-V-ANT

A mentally stable genius
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#14
It's funny to hear the negative Nancy's who have no idea what the results will be to the technology. Do people not think MS is aware of the downfalls of streaming? Do people really think MS will provide a service that's the same as the already heavily critized options avaible now? There are so many examples of technology that sucked at first then were widely accepted as premier later. Let's give some of the world's best engineers with millions of dollars in budget a chance over... forum dudes with opinions and zero insight as to what the actual current solution strategies are and how they'll be implemented.
It’s not that MS or Sony or even Google haven’t thought through the idea, of course they have. It’s how they are going to address the lack of infrastructure to support this idea that’s not clear. Fiber and broadband connection speeds are shockingly varied even in the EU and USA. We’re at least ten years from this being a viable alternative.
 

Nervusbreakdown

XBOX LIVE Member Since 2002
Sep 11, 2013
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#15
I say bring it and let's see what they can do if it sucks then GTFO.

I have the bandwidth to do it!

This reminds me when people didn't want to jump to broadband when Xbox first came out.
 

de3d1

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Sep 11, 2013
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#16
It’s not that MS or Sony or even Google haven’t thought through the idea, of course they have. It’s how they are going to address the lack of infrastructure to support this idea that’s not clear. Fiber and broadband connection speeds are shockingly varied even in the EU and USA. We’re at least ten years from this being a viable alternative.
I just have my doubts they're spending all that money to do something that performs like PS Now etc. A viable alternative is subjective, a marginal increase could be enough for many. There were times that PS Now wasn't bad, not something I would use often but something I could see potential in. We'll see what they come up with and it will no doubt be compared to the competition, they understand that.
 

aceattorney

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Sep 11, 2013
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#17
I'll believe it when I see it.
 

Rollins

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#18
It’d be cool if it were part of Game Pass or a Live package

 

Nervusbreakdown

XBOX LIVE Member Since 2002
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#19
I just have my doubts they're spending all that money to do something that performs like PS Now etc. A viable alternative is subjective, a marginal increase could be enough for many. There were times that PS Now wasn't bad, not something I would use often but something I could see potential in. We'll see what they come up with and it will no doubt be compared to the competition, they understand that.
Your talking Sony network. Let that sink in slowly.
 

pravus

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#21
If you guys want to see a best current implementation of a game streaming service, check out Nvidia's Geforce Now.

I believe there is still a free trial still going on, I had a decent time when I tried it out in the past, it completely changed my perspective on Game Streaming in the future... not in a "I would use this 100% of the time" sorta way, but I think it's actual decent enough that I wouldn't mind using it in situations where I'm unable to use a console or possibly for a cheaper way to have an extra "console" in the house. Basically when Scarlett comes out, I could see myself getting a standard console as well as a streaming-only option console to have in another room if they're able to match or exceed what Nvidia has done.
 

Swede

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Mar 24, 2018
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#22
So..... goodbye 4k gaming.
 

Tommygun.

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Sep 11, 2013
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#23
That's a bit of a jump isn't it

One doesn't exclude the other. They're not gonna stop reaching for higher resolutions, especially right after releasing the current most powerful console on the market.

I've never seen any problem with streaming as a supplement to traditional platforms. Nothing will replace downloaded/on disk gaming until it reaches the same quality. After that, I'll start freaking out.
 

OneBadMutha

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Sep 12, 2013
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#24
I’m very much looking forward to any halfway competent streaming. Not to replace the console. Rather to compliment it. Not every game needs low latency. Right now I’m addicted to Xcom 2. Would work fine with high latency. So would Gears Tactics, Life is Strange, Divinity 2, Pillars of Eternity, Diablo 3...or if Microsoft could ever get it, Persona 5.

Streaming would allow you to bring some of your games with you on the go and pick up where you left off at home.

This really is just a pilot to get ready for 5G. 5G hitting critical mass will change things drastically.
 

Ricker

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Sep 30, 2013
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#27
Needs more dots ;) in Canada on that map...this is interesting,that Google Project Stream stuff last week with the AC Odyssey talk and all made them announce this officially sooner I think...competition is a good thing.Project Stream also said 25 down for it to work,MS going for even less is good as well.
 

Pureshooter

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Sep 14, 2013
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#29
All you need is a T3 line hooked directly into your phone.

I'm funny.
 

lowdru2k

TXB member 2002-2013
Sep 13, 2013
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#30
Why would I not want to play my One X on my big 4K HDR tv? This is not for me.