Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Microsoft data centres to power new Xbox streaming service

Microsoft data centres to power new Xbox streaming service

Microsoft plans to draw on the cloud compute power of its Azure platform so video gamers can stream and access content on any device through the launch of its Project xCloud initiative.

In a post written about the project, Microsoft's VP of cloud gaming Kareem Choudhry said, "Our vision for the evolution of gaming is similar to music and movies - entertainment should be available on demand and accessible from any screen".

"Project xCloud" is now being tested at one of the data centers in Washington and Microsoft is confident enough that it will roll-out its service on a wide scale.

For the most comfortable game you will need a wireless controller from the original Xbox One connected via Bluetooth. Still, there are unique challenges with game streaming that Microsoft is aware of: "Delivering a high-quality experience across a variety of devices must account for different obstacles, such as low-latency video streamed remotely, and support a large, multi-user network". The development, called Project xCloud enables you to run Xbox One games on PC, other consoles, with a focus on mobile gadgets.

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Project xCloud now works via 4G and 5G networks and uses Microsoft Azure as part of the overall stabilization process.

Microsoft has announced Project xCloud, a global game-streaming technology initiative. The service is built on top of Microsoft's existing Azure data centres using custom server blades, each consisting of multiple Xbox One internals. Rest assured, if a problem crops up in nearly any corner of the world, Microsoft will at the very least, be able to hear about it and take steps to ensure that the problem is solved as quickly as possible. "We are developing a new, game-specific touch input overlay that provides a maximum response in a minimal footprint for players who choose to play without a controller".

Currently, the test experience is running at 10 Mbps, though the team are keen to bring this down while still maintaining the same experience for gamers through advances in networking topology, and video encoding and decoding.

Back at E3, Microsoft announced that not only was it preparing a next-gen console, but the company would also be hoping to tackle game streaming. At the present time, the offer is still in an experimental phase, the first beta public testing is scheduled for 2019.

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