Microsoft’s promising streaming platform, currently known as xCloud, is set to enter a public trial period this October. Some new footage has surfaced where the Corporate Vice President (and head of streaming) Kareem Choudhry and Head of Xbox Phil Spencer go into some more detail about what the long-term plan is with xCloud and how exactly it all works.
Ultimately, it seems pretty similar to Google Stadia; a gaming platform which allows you to stream high-end games to a variety of internet-connected devices, from your mobile to your desktop PC.
All games will run from Microsoft-operated datacenters based all over the world. The latest video gets into the nitty-gritty of the tech itself, showing off the insides of the server rack that will eventually power the platform. 8 stripped-down Xbox One S consoles are stuffed into each 2U rack unit, which is weird to think about.
Phil Spencer sounds fairly realistic about xCloud, acknowledging that streaming games simply isn’t possible for most at the moment. So xCloud is being viewed as more of a 10-year investment than something that will take off and change the world overnight.
Spencer also talks about Microsoft’s continued interest in putting out physical consoles, something that will come as a relief to many. It appears that Microsoft sees streaming as something that can complement the more traditional gaming experience rather than replace it straight away.
All told, xCloud sounds like a smart move. Microsoft, which started this generation in the worst way possible, has long since turned things around with its great Xbox Game Pass subscription service and several high-profile acquisitions of quality dev teams, including Ninja Theory and Obsidian Entertainment.
xCloud’s trial period is set to begin in October this year, putting it just ahead of Google Stadia’s November launch. Of all the upcoming streaming platforms, Microsoft’s is sounding like one of the most promising, given its already huge back catalogue of games and excellent Game Pass service.