Microsoft Botch xCloud Reveal
During Microsoft’s E3 conference, it announced the upcoming new streaming mode coming to its next-gen consoles confusing attendees into believing that its long-awaited cloud gaming service xCloud was coming this October.
The two-hour conference spared only two minutes for cloud gaming, a massive let-down when the company had promised to “go big” at E3 in response to Google’s Stadia reveal.
Many had expected the company to break down the plans and reveal details for the much-anticipated cloud-gaming service, which recently completed Alpha trials with Xbox employees.
Project xCloud was unveiled back in October 2018 promising game streaming on consoles, PCs, and mobile devices — something which Google’s Stadia is also promising.
Microsoft has built custom hardware for its datacentres for xCloud — combining four Xbox One S consoles into single server blades — which will make it easier for developers to bring their games to xCloud.
However, Google Stadia appears to have thrown a spanner into Microsoft’s plans.
Google is promising 10.7 teraflops of power if Microsoft continues with Xbox One S — which only has 1.4 teraflops of power — it doesn’t have to specs to compete with Stada’s claim of 4K gaming at 60 fps.
Instead of clarifying game titles or launch dates, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer unveiled that the company will be rolling out a “streaming mode” in October which will turn an Xbox One console a streaming device.
Via streaming mode, gamers will be able to stream games from the console to their smartphones or tablets.
The streaming mode and hybrid-based gameplay is the new norm at the global gaming giant as its new approach to cloud gaming as it works to build its datacentres to match Googles.
Its recent partnership with Sony PlayStation will undoubtedly help further its plan to dominate gaming.
Plus, its upcoming console Project Scarlett is set to be the gaming giant’s “future in cloud.”
Microsoft allowed attendees at E3 to try their hand at xCloud, playing games at 720p resolution with frame rates varying from 30 to 60 fps.
Reporters on site say that xCloud isn’t “quite ready for prime time yet” as the internet connection was in a controlled environment, streaming games from a datacentre “400 miles away.”
With Australia’s 5G network still in its infancy, it’s unlikely we will have the infrastructure in this country to support this kind of game service by Google’s Stadia launch.