MICROSOFT HAS SHOWN its long-hyped Project xCloud game streaming service working in real-life.
Admittedly Redmond did carry out the demonstration through its own Inside Xbox channel and in a controlled studio environment. But an Android phone connected to an Xbox One controller via Bluetooth was handed to games broadcaster and journalist Julia Hardy, who took the graphically sumptuous Forza Horizon 4 for a spin.
This game was originally used to show off the power of the Xbox One X thanks to its ability to run at 4K with HDR, so it wasn't designed to run on a rather basic-looking Android phone.
But in the demo, Forza looked rather good and seemed to run pretty well; at least as good as any high-fidelity native Android mobile game or a Nintendo Switch title.
Of course, this could be due to the studio having a very nippy broadband connection, which will be needed to allow game streaming to be at its best.
That being said, Kareem Choudhry, CVP at Microsoft's gaming cloud division, did note that xCloud will work anywhere there's a good network connection xCloud will work, thanks to Microsoft's Azure cloud.
Choudhry didn't specify how fast said connection would need to be, but it's likely a speedy connection will be required, whether it's over WiFi or 5G, when the latter rolls out.
Public trials of xCloud are expected to take place this year, according to Choudhry, though he didn't get into specifics of dates.
Project xCloud does look like it's going to be a real step in game streaming, which has so far been arguably a bit lacklustre. And Microsoft will need to bring its A-game to the arena, as Google is also poised to reveal its game streaming efforts at GDC 2019. µ
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