Microsoft is talking up the future of gaming, and it says in that future you will be able to play any game you want, on any device you have at hand. That is very different from the world of gaming we have today, where each of your devices has its individual gaming ecosystem. Microsoft says that Project xCloud will change all of that and place the gamer at the center of the gaming experience.
A key step in bringing Project xCloud to reality is allowing developers to bring their content to the platform. Microsoft says that the developers of games for the Xbox One available now, and the games of the future, will be able to deploy and dramatically scale access to their games across all devices on Project xCloud with no extra work.
Microsoft says the scaling and building of Project xCloud is a multi-year journey, but public trials of the system will start in 2019. Public trials will allow Microsoft to learn and scale for different volumes and locations. Microsoft says that this will be an "amazing added experience" for existing Xbox players, so Project xCloud won't replace consoles in the gaming future. Project xCloud is also positioned to be big for developers by allowing them to scale to "hundreds of millions of new players across devices" according to Microsoft.
Microsoft promises that the quality of gaming with Project xCloud will be consistent with the speed and fidelity that gamers see in PC and console games today. To achieve that sort of performance for a cloud-based platform, Microsoft has leveraged new customizable blades that host the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles; this allows compatibility for existing and future Xbox One games. The custom blades will be rolled out to data centers across Azure regions over time.
Microsoft is currently testing Project xCloud and says that the test is running on mobile phones and tablets paired with an Xbox Wireless Controller via Bluetooth; the devices are also playable via touch input. Microsoft is developing a game-specific touch input overlay that provides
Google kicked off the beta for its own cloud streaming game platform today called Project Stream.