Microsoft have finally provided details on their rumoured Project xCloud and no it’s not a new console. Even though it isn’t a new console, Project xCloud does appear to signal Microsoft’s future vision for gaming that could one day see Xbox consoles made redundant by xCloud’s approach.
Here’s what Microsoft had to say when they revealed Project xCloud:
Far too often, gaming remains fragmented and isolated to individual devices. 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 centre of the experience. To deliver on that, Microsoft has brought together its nearly 40 years of experience in gaming with the breadth of its capabilities from Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Research to build out a global game streaming technology: “Project xCloud.”
Our streaming technology is complementary to our ongoing work with console hardware and one of several important parts that make up our future and vision for gaming at Microsoft. Also as a note, I know you covered previous rumours of the name xCloud alongside future console speculation. To be very clear, Project xCloud has never been a console.
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. Developers of the more than 3000 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 game on “Project xCloud” with no additional work.
We are testing “Project xCloud” today. The test runs on devices paired with an Xbox Wireless Controller through Bluetooth and it is playable using touch input. Scaling and building out “Project xCloud” is a multi-year journey for us. We’ll begin public trials next year, so we 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.