Microsoft Announces Game Streaming, Testing To Begin Next Year

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"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", notes the company. Stream, on the other hand, lets you sign up to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey from your Chrome browser today.

"Today, the games you play are very much dictated by the device you are using", writes Kareem Choudry - Corporate Vice President, Gaming Cloud, at Microsoft.

Microsoft Corp. today previewed Project xCloud, an upcoming service meant to make video games that now require a personal computer or a gaming console playable on mobile devices.

As for the content that will be available on Protect xCloud, Choundry said that Microsoft has "enabled compatibility with existing and future Xbox games", and that the company is already inviting game developers to get on board.

As you'd expect, Project xCloud leverages all of the work Microsoft has done with cloud computing and Azure. Microsoft has positioned the service as a way for people to play games without having to worry about what device they own, while Xbox followed the "offer strong exclusives or die" mantra.

Of course, as ever with these sort of services, the result will not just depend on Microsoft's technology, network and data centers, but also the user's connection.

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Public trials for Project xCloud would begin in 2019, Microsoft said. Today, the company made the announcement we've all be waiting for, revealing Project xCloud.

"Developers and researchers at Microsoft Research are creating ways to combat latency through advances in networking topology, and video encoding and decoding", explained Microsoft. To that end, the company is also working on game-specific touch controls for those who prefer them.

Microsoft's and Google's push into game streaming come as carries worldwide start bringing the first 5G networks online.

Microsoft states that the tech uses stripped down Xbox One consoles built into server blades that can play games scaled according to the device and connection you're accessing them on.

Latency is obviously a big deal too, and while Microsoft didn't really delve into the specifics of how it will solve that problem, it did say that its tests are now running at 10 Mbps, with the possibility of far greater speeds and lower latency once 5G begins rolling out on a large scale.

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