Microsoft: xCloud Will Be as Good as Our Xbox Console Offering, but It Won’t Replace It
Yesterday, Microsoft finally revealed their long-rumored Project xCloud for game streaming. While it is early days still, with public trials scheduled to begin next year, they did provide some specifications - for instance, the test environment requires a 10 megabits Internet connection.
Wired had the chance to speak briefly with Corporate Vice President of Xbox Software Engineering Kareem Choudhry and General Manager Kevin Lachapelle (who led the team responsible for the development of the Xbox One backward compatibility program). They stressed that xCloud will be basically as good as playing on an Xbox console.
Kareem Choudry: We're really proud of what we've been able to do in our console ecosystem, and for us to make a cloud offering that fell short of everything that we have there just wasn't going to be good enough for us. We didn't crack the bits. They didn't repackage it. They didn't reopen it. They didn't put cloud-specific restrictions on. It is the same experience.
Kevin Lachapelle: They don't know they're running in the cloud. As they're concerned, they're on a console that could be in your house.
However, Xbox fans can rest easily as Kareem Choudry then clarified that Microsoft does not intend this cloud based service to replace the actual console offering.
I’m not a fan of the tyranny of ‘or’. We’re going to continue playing in the console space as you know it today.
With the rise of game streaming (Google also began their own public test of Project Stream this week with Assassin's Creed Odyssey running directly on Chrome) on the way, games are about to become much more ubiquitous and accessible. It is certainly an exciting prospect, though one that will be reserved for those who have access to decent Internet connections. Let's hope countries all over the world can make efforts to improve their own infrastructures in the next few years.