The preview of the new xCloud project where Microsoft finally adds Sony’s DualShock 4 wireless pad as one of the supported devices in this project generates many questions. Moreover, Microsoft also did it almost at the same time when Google Stadia was previewed as well. According to Kareem Choudhry, corporate vice president of the gaming cloud of Microsoft, this new project can be expanded into various features. So, if you say that in the future, you can play Xbox games on Android devices using the PlayStation controller that is not an impossible thing.
That’s not all. Microsoft also adds 50 games for their xCloud service. Famous titles, such as Devil May Cry 5, Tekken 7, Madden NFL 20, and Rainbow Six Siege are some of them. Next year, the support for Windows 10 PC will be also released.
Microsoft also expands the preview to a wider area, such as India, Japan, and Canada in the future. According to Catherine Gluckstein, product leader on xCloud, they have the vision to let people from all places to use Project xCloud on their device. When she was asked if Microsoft will develop a device similar to Google Chromecast, she said that there is a possibility for that.
There is also a rumor about the end of the console era. However, Microsoft doesn’t seem to follow that rule, even though they launch the Project xCloud, the game streaming service. Choudhry said that their Project Scarlett, which will be the project to create a new Xbox version that will be released at the end of 2020, is still ongoing. This console will compete with the Sony PlayStation 5.
Choudhry explained even though the online games and downloadable content are on the rise today, he can’t leave the game console. The reason is the physical disc sales for games are still high. Therefore, it keeps going as an important part of Microsoft’s gaming business.
The other reasons could be seen from the preview of the xCloud project at the X019 event in London. In this demo, it was clearly showing how the disc and game console is important for the game industry. At that event, the demo used a tablet to use the streaming game service using the 4G internet connection. The result is pretty much not satisfying. the performance wasn’t as good as what it said. There is a buffering and pixelating problem that occurs in a specific interval. Therefore, the online game streaming project like this needs a stable, fast and good internet connection. And, this is a problem Microsoft try to solve.
Choudhry explained that xCloud was designed for a 4G connection with the speed of at least 10 Mbps. People with a good 4G internet connection or Wi-Fi connection can experience the best performance for this service. However, Microsoft also wants to provide the best experience with a low requirement. Choudhry said that currently, his team tries to find the balance for video quality, latency, and bandwidth element for the xCloud project.
xCloud still struggles to give the best experience with a slower internet connection than 10 Mbps. And, they still try to push on how lower the internet connection this service needs so it can work well. With a lack of home broadband connection that provides the requirement for xCloud to perform at its best, the game console will take that role for providing the best gaming experience.
Google is indeed starting the race faster than Microsoft and Sony. However, Microsoft has confidence in persuading people to take their subscription because the gamer can get the best from this service. Choudhry added that this system (xCloud) uses the already-developed gaming ecosystem these days. Moreover, they offer the most important key that can satisfy the games, which are the games itself.
From the preview, the 50 games you can find on xCloud is already outnumbered the games available in Google Stadia, which is only 12 titles. Moreover, these 12 titles are also included the old games. However, what Gluckstein said about the game streaming as the way to change how to play the game and improve its performance or make it more interesting as the key for Microsoft to compete in this field. As we all know, when a game title was brought to other platforms, including a game streaming platform, there are always many changes that the development studios need to be done to make it playable.
Gluckstein also added that Microsoft has already started the development of the cloud version titles. This will be the challenge to see the problem, understand it, and find the solution and opportunity o that market. Many developers also did the same to compete in this specific market.