Here’s a closer look at the hardware behind Project xCloud

With public testing for Project xCloud set to begin this October, just a month before Google Stadia, you can expect Microsoft to do its best to remain in the video game streaming conversation. Kareem Choudhry, head of Microsoft’s Cloud gaming division, recently discussed Project xCloud with Fortune and showed one of the company’s latest hardware designs for the game streaming service.

In the video below, you can a pretty big rack designed to welcome eight Xbox One S consoles. Choudry says that the company is currently actively deploying these custom Project xCloud blades to datacenters across the 13 Azure regions where Project xCloud will enter public testing this Fall.

By putting Xbox One S consoles in server blades, Microsoft will make it possible for Project xCloud to be compatible more than 3,500 Xbox games at launch, without the need for game developers to update their code. And even though we’re approaching the end of this console generation, Choudhry said back in May that there were more than 1,900 games in development for Xbox One, and all of these should also be compatible with Project xCloud right at launch.

Compatibility with existing Xbox games should really help Project xCloud stand out next to Google Stadia, which will require game developers to port their game to the Linux-based platform. Speaking with Eurogamer, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot recently explained that “the extra cost to make sure the games work well on Stadia is not that high,” but smaller video games studios with less resources may well disagree.

There are still a lot of unknowns about Project xCloud, including launch titles and pricing details, and we hope the software giant will share more soon. In the meantime, the company will invite the public to test the service at gamescom in Cologne, Germany, next month.

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