Microsoft’s Project xCloud might change how we play games in the future

Is this a Nintendo Switch killer in the making?

Both the video and music industry has been revolutionised over the past decade. Long gone are the days where you had to download a video or song. And services like Netflix and Spotify for video and music streaming respectively have taken over. Yet, there has not been significant progress with game streaming. Now, Microsoft is looking to capitalise on the market by allowing gamers to access their Xbox library from anywhere.

On the go access

In a recent Inside Xbox episode, Microsoft CVP of Gaming Cloud Kareem Choudhry showed consumers a working version of the service, Project xCloud.

The gaming service seemed to be running on an Android phone and playing Forza Horizon 4 quite well. There seemed to be some input lag and response time delays but aside from that, the game looked functional.

How does it work?

The core of the service is dependent on Microsoft’s data servers placed in different locations worldwide. From the video, we saw glimpses of these in countries such as the Netherlands and Ireland. With the service, the company aims to make gaming even more seamless. It brings a sense of continuity and will allow gamers to pick up wherever they left off right from a handheld device like a tablet or smartphone.

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Could this be the next revolution in handheld gaming?

But in doing so, Microsoft does not plan for the service to replace a traditional console. Provided there is a strong enough server connection, the service will serve as an add-on to the Xbox line-up.

When can you see it?

There is no word on when we can start to see this technology in our hands. But according to Choudhry, public trials for the service will commence this year. These might be restricted to certain demographics depending on server reach. But we are hoping that the UAE is part of the initial trials knowing the large gaming audience it has.