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Microsoft's Project xCloud will help usher in a new era of gaming

Microsoft recently announced Project xCloud as the next big thing in gaming and it has generated a lot of buzzes since. It’s all about streaming video games over the internet, which is quite different from playing directly from a console or PC.

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sammarshall10228d ago

I can't say I'm particularly excited about streaming games and I have near flawless internet

lxeasy28d ago

What I'm wondering is what this will do to Console Gamings Market share if its a success.

Prettygoodgamer27d ago

It won't be so don't worry, at least not for a decade or 2

Eidolon27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

Streaming will NEVER beat direct play. i will always want to play the best visual and audio experience, streaming just can't handle it, it will always be be several steps behind.

fiveby927d ago

@Prettygoodgamer 2 decades is a long time. I am reluctant to think that far out as 2 decades ago I was just getting cable internet at 512 kbps. Fast forward to today and I can get 1 Gbps fiber. 5G networking's low latency may open up new possibilities. That said, I am not terribly interested in game streaming. I think it could be a generational thing. Kinds just born or not born yet today may like game streaming. But older gamers like me probably not so much.

JackBNimble27d ago

I can't say I know anyone who wants to break away from traditional gaming.

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parris27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

I have PSNow and it works fine, but I fully agree with you I don't want a 100% streaming always online future AT ALL. It's nice to have a subscription with a bunch of games, but buying and owning games is still by far my prefered method.

I like to know that if in 10 years I want to play my favorite games they will be there for me to play with out any fees or hoops.

slate9128d ago

Latency will make or break this.

TheCommentator26d ago

It will make this. That's why X Cloud is 2.5 times more efficient at only 10mbps vs. Google's 25mbps minimum requirements.

slate9126d ago

I'm hoping. The thought of playing on any device sounds awesome.

Tech526d ago (Edited 26d ago )

It sounds interesting. it's the next to best option. make any junk cheap device able to play your favorite games. I still prefer owning the hardware though.

there should also be an incentive for those that buy the retail version of games, get the stream-able version for free. some Blu-ray movies were like this a long while back.

rainslacker26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

And how does it achieve such a remarkable feat?

I'm dying to know.

I'm really curious how ms will deliver better quality at a lower bandwidth, because that seems intimately more valuable as a product than a streaming service, and would have ramifications across a number of it industries.

TheCommentator26d ago

@ Rain

I'd like to know how too. If I had to guess though, it's via something called Statistical Inference. MS was doing research on this during their "Project Irides Cloud VR" experiments, where they reduced latency by roughly 90%. This short video talked about it during a demonstration:

https://www.youtube.com/wat...

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gangsta_red27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

"With that in mind, it should have come as no surprise when we realize that the search giant is actually working on a video game streaming service, and unlike Project xCloud, it’s already in beta.

Sony has been active for quite some time with PSNow, and Nintendo is testing its own streaming option in Japan today."

Interesting times in gaming indeed. More than obvious that Nintendo, MS and Sony are definitely preparing for a console less future.

UltraNova27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

Do you prefer that future considering the current ISPs tendencies to throttle or cap our connections and generally control how and when internet access is provided to us? What will happen when everything is digital and bandwidth cant keep up?

Everyone knows digital is the future, but I'm afraid we are rushing into it unprepared.

CrimsonPheonix27d ago

Then ISPs will have to adapt, plenty of places already have no data caps like here in Boston.

UltraNova27d ago

What? You seriously expect these Companies to adapt to our needs in our favor?

Jesus H Christ....

Shikoku27d ago

@CrimsonPheonix
no you dont have a cap yet. Indianapolis didnt have one either until 2yrs ago now there is a 1 tb cap and as I stream everything and game I had to choose between stream movies and music and playing games it sucked and the only ISP that provides a no cap plan is the smallest in Indianapolis, unless I wanted to add another 50$ to my already 100$ a month Xfinity plan for 75mbps, and the smallest dont provide service to my area. The ISPs are pushing for no net neutrality so they can milk customers they arent going to adapt to plans that make them less money. Just because, they dont want net neutrality because they want and all streaming digital future which is stupid.

gangsta_red27d ago

Doesn't what I prefer, it's happening whether we prefer it or not.

rainslacker26d ago

Lol @ crimson thinking isps will adapt.

Since net neutrality had been repealed, their adaption will be charging more to content providers to prioritize their traffic. Isps haven't cared much for the consumers interest for a couple decades now.

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27d ago Replies(4)
Realms26d ago

It's cringy seeing people predict what the outcome of trends will be just because other media has followed a certain pattern that doesn't mean video games will follow suit specially when latency is still a huge problem no matter who the provider is. Unless this major problem get's addressed there is no way gamers will adopt it over the traditional way of consuming video games. People are really dumb when they don't even know how the recent ICANN changes will affect gaming in the future just saying.

gangsta_red26d ago

It's even more cringy to see people still believe latency is that big of an issue or will continue to be in the near future. PSnow as of late has been greatly improved. A lot of areas are about to adopt a 5G network and then who knows where we'll be by the time the next gen of consoles starts to fade.

If latency was truly such a big deal do you actually believe Google, Nintendo, Sony, MS and countless other multi billion dollar, world wide companies would be investing so heavily in it?

Or do you have more insight and knowledge of this situation then these companies?

rainslacker26d ago

The cringier thing is people ignoring what has happened in those other mediums, and even if they assume it follows the same path, they ignore the part where those other mediums haven't had their physical counterparts completely eradicated by the advent of streaming.

@Gangsta

Unless there is a major change in the way networks work, latency will be a thing. Wether its an issue is dependent on the ISP's, and what a person is willing to pay for their connection, among hundreds of other factors.

Don't mistake that latency not being enough of an issue for enough people to make a service like this viable to those who wish to use it, as latency soon to be a thing of the past.

I've noticed this trend that a lot of people seem to think that new tech somehow means that it will take over of the old tech, or a mass exodus of a consumer base to the new tech. But when you look at all these things, it's usually just some people maybe moving, and new customers buying in. And that's where streaming services lie for the near future...as something aimed at a different market, with gradual pushes towards trying to make a connected future for these publishers and console makers to control their content, and remove ownership.

Good times huh?

Apocalypse Shadow27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

Microsoft: The Reactive Company

Never the risk taker. They only announced x cloud because Google went ahead and did it with assassin's creed over a Web browser. Google entered their space.

They weren't so much worried about Sony with Remote Play and PS now because Sony's idea was relegated to console as you needed the console to stream. And PS Now isn't something Sony is pushing hard on anywhere else. They leave it as an optional way to play just like VR. It's an option.

But Google entering the Web browser space is a direct threat to Microsoft and their Web browser and services. If Apple joins in and starts a gaming service with their phones, tablets and browser,that's another threat to them. Amazon as well.

So, they reacted quickly and announced to everyone as to not be left behind. They might even had inside information that Google was gunning for them with a gaming streaming service.

If they were more an "active" company instead of "reactive," they would be the innovator instead of always the follower.

We could go over the usual about data caps, intermittent Internet speeds and the like, but we've all been over that topic. And the topic of "Now that Microsoft is doing it, now it's amazing and the future."

Lennoxb6327d ago

React? MS has been working on this since before Sony aquired Gaikai.

Apocalypse Shadow27d ago

It's a reaction. All the news was talking about the Google streaming service. Even my local news covered it. That's big news and a lot of mindshare google is looking for.

Streaming over a browser to Windows devices, macOS, Linux, and ChromeOS is a direct threat to Microsoft. That's Microsoft's own backyard.

If google's project stream catches on, that hurts Microsoft directly. Tim, you need to start thinking beyond what you see in these threads about Sony, nintendo and Microsoft. There's more going on that's above your xbox achievement level.

Yes, Sony is their competitor. But in the console space. Google is already on multiple platforms and are streaming over a browser. That's a direct shot across Microsoft's bow.

They reacted as they didn't announce first. Disagree if you like. Doesn't matter how it looks to the public. Google was first in their eyes before Microsoft reacted.

parris27d ago

What you just said is just blatantly untrue. Yes, Microsoft had Azure, but it hasn't in anyway shape or form been used for game streaming until now.

Microsoft is not the leader here, this market has existed for years and Sony was clearly the first company to offer console games a streaming service.

rainslacker26d ago

I know it may be hard for some to accept, but Google, IBM, and Oracle/Sun are bigger threats to MS market share and revenue stream than Sony will ever be. Those three companies directly compete against MS biggest money makers, and in many ways, they're taking significant market share away from MS. Google alone has hurt the Windows platform more than anyone has ever hurt MS before, and the massive shift from Windows OS devices and PC's, to iOS and Droid have set MS back much further than they've been set back in the console space by MS poor policies at the start of this gen.

I know some people like to think that the console space is really a cornerstone of MS long term plans, but it really isn't. Even assuming that they had 100% of the console market, it wouldn't make as much money as it's commercial and enterprise solutions. Maybe if they also owned most of the PC gaming market, they'd take it more seriously, but they're very late to that party.

timotim27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

Interesting. I first heard about Microsoft building a "world class" streaming service at E3, earlier this year...months before Google announced their play tests for their browser streaming service...

However, Microsoft has been working on a streaming service for YEARS now. We can go back to Halo 4 being streamed to a Windows Phone
https://vrzone.com/articles...
Just because you don't know what they are working on doesn't mean they aren't working on it...

blacktiger27d ago

Which e3 cause google announced it at least 2 years ago in stock market meeting,

timotim27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

@Black

That maybe true...I don't know without some kind of proof. However, the OP was talking about Microsoft reacting to Google's RECENT announcement of doing these play test in their Chrome browser that just kicked off. The question Im going to ask you is how can it be a reaction to that, when Microsoft already announced a streaming service back at E3 earlier this year???

And you said this Google announcement happened 2 years ago? Well OK...the link I provided clearly shows Microsoft working on a streaming service over FIVE years ago...so how can that be a reaction to Google two years back???

j15reed27d ago

Everybody on N4G is just mad its Microsoft, they know PSNow is str8 garbage and remote play isn't even the same thing. It's going to be a sad day when MS catches thier precious Sony.

Kingoftherodeo27d ago

next thing you say Google and Amazon are reacting to Ms servers

KwietStorm27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

I'm not for this "new era," but you silly as hell if you think Microsoft just up and announced an entire ecosystem just because Google made a move. Microsoft has one of the largest cloud compute business infrastructures in the world, and they been working on this for quite some time. They even laid the groundwork when they tried to get away with their original vision for Xbox One. And there's already been several rumors of a separate streaming next gen Xbox for months.

timotim27d ago

😄😄😄 Wow. Now you're going to attempt to tell me about Google and Amazon? You are a funny guy indeed. But let's stick to the topic shall we?

The FIRST time the PUBLIC heard about Microsoft building a game's streaming service:
The Verge
https://www.theverge.com/20...
Business Insider
https://www.businessinsider...
BGR
https://www.bgr.in/gaming/e...
IGN
https://www.ign.com/article...
CNET
https://www.cnet.com/news/m...

I can keep going if you want. Don't tell me the public heard about Google's first...they didn't. The question still stands...how can Microsoft be reacting to Google when Microsoft announced first? Please answer.

shiva127d ago

Bro it doesnt matter... Im not getting into googles gaming business in any way or form. The first and foremost patent that this company has is on ads. People who are now embracing google and talking about MTs or ads should absolutely focus on what googles business model is before embracing its technology. Forget microsoft if its reacting or acting.... Keep your eyes on what this company is about to bring upon us... I seriously do not want zynga/candy crush games upon me.

timotim27d ago

@Shiva

I couldn't agree more! These fanboys will hop from topic to topic if you let them. I just wanted to establish his whole purpose of making his post as false before moving on. But you're right. I find it hilarious that a ad company with no gaming experience, talent, studios or even IPs is suppose to be considered some kind of threat. The only thing they can offer me are mobile and 3rd party games...games I already get through the big 3 anyway. They are notorious for selling companies your information and these are the guys he feels we should be worried about? Why should they even deserve to be successful in this space...fanboy wars is why. When I go to stream my games to my phone or tablet, it won't be through Scroogle, I can promise you that.

Apocalypse Shadow27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

They're a reactionary company. They didn't lead in the mobile phone space, they reacted to others like Google, apple and Sony in that space. They failed with windows mobile phone.

They reacted to apples ipod after the fact. They failed with that with zune.

They reacted to Sony owning the living room with PS2 and not some computer in the back room and they created xbox. And have failed 3 times against them. And was overtaken by nintendo and Sony on the fourth.

They reacted to the wii and Sony's ps move motion control with kinect. As Sony was working with the company that created kinect on PS2 way before Microsoft swooped in and bought them underneath Sony. Kinect failed. Move lives on with VR.

They reacted to Sony destroying them in 2013 by trying to seem gamer friendly and dropped all their DRM. They are being destroyed by Sony again.
https://www.google.com/amp/...

https://www.google.com/amp/...

That's February of this year where we knew about project yeti. Microsoft then announced their game streaming plans in June. Which company has streamed their first game as a test to the public? Not Microsoft. Google and ubisoft. That halo test was not known by the public or was even news worthy to the masses. But Google got all the notoriety and made huge news. Which made Microsoft react again like they always do.

All your links are in june. Mine is in February. One comes first over all your June links. And that's heard about. Google was working on a gaming platform back in 2013 as well. No one knew what it was until now.

timotim26d ago

@Apocalypse

How many times are you going to repackage the same BS under a different post?!?! You fanboys love to change the conversation depending on what you feel you can make stick. Please for once just stick to the topic. Who the first one was with a public playtest is neither here nor there in the context of this conversation. That doesn't matter because I didn't take issue with who's playtest came first, I took issue with you saying Microsoft reacted to Google's RECENT announcement. The two links from February that you posted was about RUMORS that Google was making a streaming service, that wasn't an OFFICIAL announcement from Google. Nor did those news stories hit the masses. Your links confirm this! Here are quotes from both your links:

"Google may be making its first serious attempts at taking on the likes of Nvidia's GeForce Now and Sony's PS Now with its own game streaming service. Details are scant but it's codename is Yeti and could include a controller and console."

"It isn’t yet clear if Google’s gaming contraption will be a high-powered console like a PS4 or Xbox One, or if it’ll be a low-end device meant exclusively to facilitate streaming."

"Google is keeping mum about this right now, but if it’s building something like Yeti, it seems like it’d make sense to go with the latter type of product."

Ya see, back in February, Google didn't announce anything! They were only rumors of what they COULD be working on. Again, that was February of THIS YEAR. They didn't ANNOUNCE anything until just recently...AFTER Microsoft announced their service at E3. Stop beating me over my head with the BS buddy, Im too nice for that. It was Google who reacted to Microsoft's initial announcement at E3 that they were making one. You say Google has been working on Yeti since 2013, yet your link is a no show...typical. I have and can post multiple links that Microsoft was working on a streaming service back in 2013.

You want to bring up Zunes and Moves and Wiis...anything and everything you can think of because this is what you fanboys do when called out on false information. I said nothing about anything of those, and you have provided ZERO conformation that Microsoft's ANNOUNCEMENT of their streaming service came not only after Google's, but was a reaction to it...

rainslacker26d ago

What the public knew about is rather irrelevant to who's working on it first. Plus, on here, it's not like we hear about a lot of things outside the console space.

I knew google's been working on something for at least a year now, since they did invest in some Chinese game streaming company. never really thought about it much, and don't really care who's reacting to who, or who was first, or any of the other nonsense that goes around about it. All of that just ends up becoming console war fodder, and with that, you get a lot of this, "MS is going to do it best" mentality which is completely unfounded.

I also knew MS was working on something since before this gen started. I recall some comment in an interview with Mattrick where he said something along the lines of how they looked into cloud streaming games....in response to PSNow....and how they had been working on something, but the market wasn't ready for it and there were too many things that would hold it back at that time. I'd actually like to find it, but like with many of these things, searching for these things tend to become difficult when new things crop up around it.

Reality is, is that most of these companies know what the others are working on. These companies know where things are headed, and what they should get in on. The reality is is that if they wanted to be in this space, they probably all have been working on it for a while, because you don't just up and start a cloud streaming service. Even Sony was looking into it before they brought Gakai, and they brought that company for their patents and technology, not for their servers like some people seem to think.

gangsta_red26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

@rainslacker

"Reality is, is that most of these companies know what the others are working on."

That's pretty interesting you would say this when we were just having a conversation not long ago about motion controls and how you said Sony was supposedly first working on it only because they had a YouTube video out.

But glad to see common sense, all of a sudden rear its head when convenient.

All these companies have a good idea where the market trends and tech are heading. Being first out doesn't particularly mean they were the first to do this.

And being first on the market doesn't necessarily mean it's better.

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AK9127d ago

Doubtful but only time will tell.