In the near future, platform restriction might no longer exist. Microsoft has announced that it’s developing a new game streaming service called Project xCloud. Will game streaming be the future of the industry?
Project xCloud is a service that will let you stream games whenever you want, and on whatever devices that you choose. It means that platform restriction will not be a problem, and makes cross-platform gaming become more possible than ever.
“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,” said Microsoft in their official blog.
Does it mean extra work for game developers? No, it is not. The good news is Microsoft wants to help developers to bring their content to the Project xCloud. So it will make it as easy as possible, without any additional works.
Thanks to the Xbox structure. Xbox will be the backbone of the custom hardware of Project xCloud. They create a structure that contains component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles. It means Xbox One game will be fully compatible with Project xCloud, and ready to stream for gamers around the world.
For the datacenters, Microsoft creates a custom hardware based on its Azure cloud platform.
So, when will this game streaming service be ready to play? Microsoft said that it is still on the early stage of development. The company predicts that it still needs a “multi-year journey” before the technology is ready for consumers.
Right now, Microsoft already does the internal test on the mobile platform and will conduct the public trial sometimes in 2019.
When it’s ready, Microsoft said that Project xCloud will make game streaming possible on the 4G network that is already available worldwide. Thus, the company also said that the technology will work optimally on 5G networks.
“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,” continues the blog. “Our vision for the evolution of gaming is similar to music and movies — entertainment should be available on demand and accessible from any screen,” they continued.
Is this the future of the game industry?
Some industry stakeholders believe that game consoles are not the future of the industry. “I think we will see another generation, but there is a good chance that step-by-step we will see less and less hardware,” said Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft.
The CEO of Ubisoft recently said that gaming consoles will not last long. Instead, the future of gaming will rely purely on streaming or cloud gaming.
But Guillemot also said that there will be one more console generation before that. “With time, I think streaming will become more accessible to many players and make it not necessary to have big hardware at home. There will be one more console generation and then after that, we will be streaming, all of us,” he continued.
Edited by Devi