2:44pm PT by Patrick Shanley
Microsoft Details Planned Project xCloud Games Streaming Service
During Tuesday’s Inside Xbox live stream, Kareem Choudhry, head of gaming cloud at Microsoft, unveiled new details about the company’s planned games streaming service, Project xCloud.
“Project xCloud is a cloud-based streaming service that will enable you to play anywhere we have a client,” he said. The exec went on to compare game streaming to music streaming, where any can be played anywhere.
“Anywhere you have a good network connection, you’ll be able to participate in Project xCloud,” said Choudhry.
The exec stressed the importance of choice for gamers. “It’s not a replacement for console. We’re not getting out of the console business,” he said.
Choudhry did not come empty-handed, as he showed off the game Forza Horizon 4 streamed to an Android phone connecting via Bluetooth to an Xbox One controller during the stream.
Project xCloud will begin public trials this year.
Game streaming has become a hot topic in recent months, with tech giants such as Google and Apple working on their own services, with the former rumored to unveil their plans next week at the GDC convention in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Verizon and Amazon are also reportedly working on game streaming services currently.
Earlier during the event, Microsoft also revealed a number of new developments in the works.
To kick off the event, female members of the Xbox team took the stage to introduce the upcoming titles, which included Halo: Master Chief Collection, which features the first four games in the franchise (the PC version also includes 2010’s Halo: Reach) coming to PC and Minecraft being made available to Xbox Games Pass subscribers.
Brian Jarrard, community director at 343 Industries, joined the stream to announce the Halo news. “I think everyone always wanted this to be on PC,” he said. Jarrard also made a point that the game was coming to PC “in the right way” and stressed the importance of making the controls and resolution settings feel right on PC, as the original titles were first released on Xbox consoles.
The Master Chief Collection will be available on digital marketplace Steam.
The Inside Xbox stream also unveiled a new trailer for the upcoming Bandai Namco game One Piece: World Seeker based on the popular anime series, which features a new storyline as well as familiar characters and settings from the long-running TV show.
Later on in the stream, Dacey Willoughby, senior producer at Undead Labs, introduced a new update, Choose Your Own Apocalypse, to the zombie survival game State of Decay 2. The new update will introduce two new difficulties to the game, which Willoughby promised would introduce larger hordes of zombies and stronger enemies. For online players, joining a game session means that the player will be playing at the difficulty level of the host’s choosing, so be warned.