Microsoft has formally announced Project xCloud; a new program that will allow you to stream console games to mobile devices.
While Microsoft hinted at this program during this year’s E3 presentation, this is the first time that we’ve heard any substantial official information regarding it. So far as that goes, the current plan is for Microsoft to fill data centers with hardware that is capable of running and streaming console quality games. It a technological concept that we’ve seen other, similar services utilize, but the big twist in this instance is that Microsoft intends to use the service to bring Xbox games to many modern devices that have a screen.
In a new video, Xbox representatives make it clear that they don’t intend for this technology to replace the Xbox. Instead, it’s designed to give Xbox gamers a way to play their games away from their consoles and for those without an Xbox console to enjoy some of the system’s games on a variety of platforms. They’ve made it clear in the past that they are very interested in exploring the growing world of video game streaming.
At the same time, it’s hard to believe that this new initiative isn’t somehow related to Microsoft’s next-gen console plans. We’ve heard the rumors that Microsoft is interested in possibly releasing a next-gen Xbox that will be a “streaming-only” digital console, and the formal reveal of this program seems to lend some credence to those rumors.
So far as Project xCloud goes, Microsoft has been internally testing this service on mobile devices paired with Xbox controllers and high-speed connections. It seems Microsoft plans to release a test of this system to the public sometime next year.
At the very least, this sounds like a fascinating initiative in its own right that might very well lead to something bigger in the future.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.
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