Alongside its announcement of Project Scarlett, Microsoft shared another way gamers will access Xbox content in the near future: Project xCloud. The cloud gaming platform is to rival Google Stadia, and we’ve learned even more about how the hardware works in a new interview by Fortune.
“To have success at a global scale with the level of ambition that we have at Microsoft, you really need content, community, and the cloud,” said Kareem Choudhry at the opening of the interview.
Choudhry is the Corporate Vice President of Gaming for Microsoft, and the interview also includes Phil Spencer, the Vice President of Gaming. Cloud gaming has been a major part of the conversation for Microsoft since the announcement of the Xbox One, where the company laid out plans to enhance games by using cloud computing power. Now, the use of the cloud is becoming more involved via Project xCloud.
The announcement of Google Stadia alone has inspired various companies like Microsoft, Sony, and Nvidia to prepare for a future where cloud-streamed video games are a more considerable option. When asked how he’d explain cloud gaming, Choudhry started with the development of Project xCloud technology as Microsoft’s “entry into game streaming.”
“We’ve been building consoles for years,” he said. “We build a lot of them. We have some skill at that and what we’ve done is taken the core innards of an Xbox One S and we figured out ‘how can we transform that into something more suitable for the data center’.”
“We used to live in a world of games as a product and then we evolved to games as a service where you’re constantly updating,” Choudhry said. “You’re interacting with your consumer base. You’re understanding what they’re doing.”
He then showed off one of the data center racks, which is made up of eight Xbox One S units.
“When you’re streaming on Project xCloud, this is the hardware you are running from,” he explained. “The games that were designed for the console run with 100% compatibility on this hardware.”
“Streaming’s not a solution for everyone to play tomorrow,” added Phil Spencer. “We build xCloud for the next decade. I think about it that way. First, expanding the capabilities of our existing customers but, in the long run, this is about reaching more of the planet who wants to play those great games that our partners build.”
We don’t know when Project xCloud will be available for gamers but we do know that it will support all current and future Xbox One games. Stadia is being positioned as more of a competitor to Scarlett and PS5, so we’ll have to see just how Project xCloud stacks up in the next generation of gaming.
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