MICROSOFT SEEMS TO BE GEARING UP to give Google's Stadia game streaming service a good kicking, as it revealed that Project xCloud will have more than 50 games on it at launch.
While Project xCloud is only in a public beta at the moment, with Stadia set to fully launch on 19 November, it's set to be more fully-featured than Stadia from day one.
Google's service will come with a mere 12 games, which isn't exactly a big selection even though one of them is Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2. And Stadia will also launch without a lot of its touted services and features that looked set to help it stand out from Project xCloud and other game streaming services.
Project xCloud does have the luxury of being able to tap into Microsoft's wealth of Xbox games, notably exclusive titles Gears 5 and Forza Horizon 4. And the folks at Redmond have a load of developers they could tap up for more games once Project xCloud launches in 2020; there's no exact launch date but we suspect it'll pop up near the start of the year.
Having a bit of a wait from beta to full version appears to be the right approach. Google's Stadia launch seems a tad rushed and could see it initially emerging as a rather bare-bones service, undermining all the appeal it's been building up over the past few months.
Microsoft's preview for Project xCloud seems to be taking a more measured approach, with only the UK, US and South Korea having beta access at the moment. That's set to change as Microsoft plans to expand it to Western Europe, Canada, India and Japan, which should give Redmond's streaming smart alecs the scope to see how Project xCloud performs at scale without overreaching; we're not sure Google is following that approach with Stadia.
This is all a bit of speculation from us, but thus far it looks like Microsoft is set to launch a well-rounded streaming service a little later than Google's somewhat under-featured equivalent. µ
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