Microsoft is sharing more details about its Project xCloud game streaming service ahead of E3 next month. Two months ago, Google made a big move by unveiling its new Stadia service at the Game Developers Conference, but so far only three games have been confirmed for Stadia including Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and the upcoming Doom Eternal.
It will be a big challenge for Google to convince developers to ports their game to Stadia and its Linux-based infrastructure, and this is precisely where Microsoft’s Project xCloud service should have a big advantage. Indeed, Project xCloud will leverage existing Xbox One S hardware, which means that it’s already compatible with three generation of Xbox games if you take into account backward compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games.
In a blog post on Xbox Wire, Kareem Choudhry, Corporate Vice President – Gaming Cloud at Microsoft highlighted today that more than 5,000 Xbox games in total are ready to run on Project xCloud.
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.
The ability for Project xCloud to run almost any Xbox game already seems to be a killer feature, and Microsoft will also leverage its worldwide Azure infrastructure to make sure that the service works great in the most important gaming markets. “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,” explained Choudhry. “This is just the beginning of our buildout, with our ultimate goal of supporting gamers in Azure regions around the world,” he added.
As Microsoft is planning to kick off public trials later this year, Microsoft employees can already test an alpha version of Project xCloud at home, and Choudhry also said today that select developers such as Capcom and Paradox Interactive can already test their games on Project xCloud. Following the Google Stadia reveal, Xbox head Phil Spencer promised to “go big” at E3 this year, so make sure to add Microsoft’s press briefing on 1PM PT / 4 PM ET to your agenda.