With only a couple of weeks to go before the yearly Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft shared an update with gamers on the highly anticipated cloud streaming service, currently named Project xCloud.
Corporate VP of Gaming Cloud Kareem Choudhry wrote a post on the Xbox Wire blog, discussing the progress of testing and the deployment of the custom blades in several regions. Now development studios such as CAPCOM and Paradox can now test it easily.
The power of Project xCloud – the seamless compatibility for developers and the new places to play for gamers – comes from Azure datacenters spanning the globe, with hardware that shares a common set of components with our Xbox consoles. We’ve already deployed our custom Project xCloud blades to datacenters across 13 Azure regions with an initial emphasis on proximity to key game development centers in North America, Asia and Europe. Leading global development teams such as Capcom and Paradox Interactive now have the ability to easily test their games directly from Project xCloud without having to port to a new platform. This is just the beginning of our buildout, with our ultimate goal of supporting gamers in Azure regions around the world.
Today you can play three generations of amazing games on Xbox One. That means that Project xCloud has the technical capability to stream more than 3,500 games, without any changes or modifications required by a developer. In other words, developers will be able to dramatically scale their existing games across devices, with no additional development, no additional code base maintenance and no separate updates. When a developer updates the Xbox One version of their title, those updates will also apply to all versions available on Project xCloud without any additional work.
There are currently more than 1,900 games in development for Xbox One, all of which could run on Project xCloud. Developers creating those games continue working normally – building with the tools they have – while we do the work to make their games accessible to the broadest set of players possible.
We also recently added enhancements to our standard Xbox Developer Kit (XDK) to add support for streaming. One API we’re excited about is the new “IsStreaming” API which allows any game to know if it’s streaming from the cloud. Games can then cue features and functionality to enhance the streaming experience; for instance, adjusting font sizes for smaller displays or hosting multiplayer matches on a single server to reduce latency. We’ll continue to look for ways to empower developers to tailor their games for the many ways their customers play.
We expect a lot more details on Project xCloud during Microsoft's E3 2019 Briefing (June 9th, 1 PM Pacific Time), though unlike Google Microsoft still maintains cloud streaming is an extra option that ultimately won't match the 'local experience' of owning an Xbox console or Windows 10 PC.