Microsoft Reveals Project xCloud: a Vision for Game-Streaming

cageymaru

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Microsoft has revealed Project xCloud: its vision of the future of game-streaming. As long as there is a client for the device, the service enables gamers to play the games that they want on the device that they want. Just like music where you have a choice to listen at home, on the commute to work, at work, or at a cafe; Project xCloud seeks to do the same for gaming. The only requirement is a good internet connection and the previously mentioned client, as the Microsoft Azure datacenters will take care of the heavy work of rendering and remotely streaming the exact game experience that the game's creators intended onto the gamer's device. Public trials start this year.

While our vision for the technology is complementary to the ways in which we use consoles today, Project xCloud will also open the world of Xbox to those who may not otherwise own traditional, dedicated gaming hardware. True console-quality gaming will become available on mobile devices, providing the 2 billion-plus gamers around the world a new gateway to previously console- and PC-exclusive content. We can achieve this vision with the global distribution of Microsoft's datacenters in 54 Azure regions and the advanced network technologies developed by the team at Microsoft Research. We're excited about our ability to deliver a best-in-class global streaming technology.
 

zz2

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Meanwhile, you still can't stream games from your Windows PC to any device on the local network, where latency is significantly lower then for any over-the-internet streaming service.
 

cageymaru

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Meanwhile, you still can't stream games from your Windows PC to any device on the local network, where latency is significantly lower then for any over-the-internet streaming service.

Steam Link no longer requires the now discontinued Steam Link hardware. Android, Raspberry Pi, etc. I have tried it on my old as sin notebook and smartphone. Worked great!
https://store.steampowered.com/steamlink/about/
 

horskh

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Anyone know where to get a good quality phone holder bracket like in the video, but for a dual shock 4 controller? I had one but it broke easily.
 

Lakados

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Nice! I didn't know that.

To be fair, MS should have something like this in implemented in Windows natively.
If they did would people use it? Or would they go "eiew gross Microsoft" then download the Steam one, all while Valve and 2 other publishers form up lawsuits against MS for them being anti competitive?
 

ordray

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Bwahaha AZURE is dog crap, sick of dealing with their issues.

So next massive issue in their DCs means you get to twiddle your thumbs.

This cloud push everyone is doing is just baffling, even for a corporation, you get half the server power for the same price and are at the mercy of MS incompetent support teams and their "well it's not affected this other company with a completely different user load" and ISPs
 

TwiceOver

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I do mostly remote play at my house (PS4, and XBOX). If it can get as good as the XBox remote play then I'd be pretty happy.
 

andrewaggb

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I bet the London tube experience won't be so great and is probably not a good example of how to use the tech. At least not a racing game. Alot of it is underground and it stops pretty frequently and whatnot. I don't remember what the cell service is like though. Maybe it's pretty decent.
 

Archaea

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Meanwhile, you still can't stream games from your Windows PC to any device on the local network, where latency is significantly lower then for any over-the-internet streaming service.
Not true

A Steam Link can do it flawlessly over AC wireless for $20. It adds about 3-4ms of lag to do gaming wirelessly from my Gaming PC to my Steam Link connected 24” monitor and is completely impercievable in control feel and gaming experience.

The outstanding problem for me is that I couldn’t control the OS. So if my game encountered a error or alt tabbed out with a Windows pop-up or if there was a OS issue of any sort, or an improper resolution configured on a game that was old enough it wouldn’t auto select the current resolution (my gaming PC monitor is 3440x1440 and my Steam Link monitor is 1080p) you were powerless to fix it without going to the PC.

The wireless lag of 3-4ms with a modern AC router was NEVER the problem - locally.

With the advent of fiber connections to home - even 30ms latency is pretty tolerable, and far less lag than most people encounter with their HDTVs input lag.
 
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Burticus

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A Steam Link can do it flawlessly over AC wireless for $20. It adds about 3-4ms if lag to do gaming wirelessly from my Gaming PC to my Steam Link connected 24” monitor and is completely impercievable in control feel and gaming experience.

Your steam link experience differs from mine. Even on wired gig to the living room, Borderlands 2 was unplayable... it looked fine but the lag was a killer. Not exactly a new or super demanding game. I mean if I had never played it any other way, could I get used to it? Maybe... but sitting in front of the pc was a totally different experience. But hey... YMMV I guess. The steam link is sitting in a closet now collecting dust.

Re: the video, did you notice the lag between her stick moves and the car actually moving? I don't know what game that was (NFS? Forza?) but it looked like a healthy amount of lag. OTOH if it looks good, for remote play on your phone scenarios... maybe one could learn to live with it.
 

nubbin77

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Your steam link experience differs from mine. Even on wired gig to the living room, Borderlands 2 was unplayable... it looked fine but the lag was a killer. Not exactly a new or super demanding game. I mean if I had never played it any other way, could I get used to it? Maybe... but sitting in front of the pc was a totally different experience. But hey... YMMV I guess. The steam link is sitting in a closet now collecting dust.

Re: the video, did you notice the lag between her stick moves and the car actually moving? I don't know what game that was (NFS? Forza?) but it looked like a healthy amount of lag. OTOH if it looks good, for remote play on your phone scenarios... maybe one could learn to live with it.

Regarding steam link - I think in many cases (I am not saying all) people that had "bad" experiences with it may have underlying issues with their network set up that are not readily identifiable because they are normally not apparent.
For example for a while my network would hiccup everytime I downloaded a file or streamed a movie, like every 3 minutes or so. Drove me (and more importantly my wife) nuts. turned out I had a bad cable plugged into my switch that led to a plug in another room that wasn't even being used. Yet it was hiccupping the whole network. I also (a few years before) had a situation where I couldn't stream plex reliabily… it would buffer out (on 1 gig / cat 6 everything). It turned out my switch was not good. Those are just odd examples of things that you wouldn't even expect just playing into it. I think routers can be all kinds of trouble in this area... especially if you dive into QOS for this and don't prioritize this type of traffic it could cause issues / latency.

For this service, I fully expect there will be delays between control and on screen results.
For multiplayer games, I don't think it is any more lag than any other game played that is hosted on a server. The only difference is what you see currently, locally on your screen is an "interpretation" of what actually happens on the server - your local PC is guessing where the other players are on your screen. What is actually happening when it syncs up the clients, may or may not be the same. That's why you see players jump around or LAAAG from time to time - your computer is making bad guesses and it is worse when connection is bad and very out of sync.

I think this will be a more true representation of what is going on in the server and actually be more accurate / fair for players to some extent because you are all seeing the same thing, albeit with a XX millisecond delay.

Single player twitch games would be less fun. Probably just fine (not ideal, but fine) for 80% of the game types out there. And some, just plain bad.
 

Delicieuxz

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So many game streaming service, and I'll never use any of them.

They're really banking hard on this cloud gaming thing... but it only works for some games and will always be an inferior experience to playing off of your own PC.

I wonder if this is going to be a fad that doesn't last very long for core gamer audiences.
 

Nausicaa

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So many game streaming service, and I'll never use any of them.

They're really banking hard on this cloud gaming thing... but it only works for some games and will always be an inferior experience to playing off of your own PC.

I wonder if this is going to be a fad that doesn't last very long for core gamer audiences.
Cloud gaming would never work for me. But 'core gamers' always buy next year's sports game or new COD. They will fall for it. The ones that still play garry's mod won't care.
 

DukenukemX

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Cloud gaming would never work for me. But 'core gamers' always buy next year's sports game or new COD. They will fall for it. The ones that still play garry's mod won't care.
"core gamers" also have a wifi connection that's horrible and don't have much tolerance for microwaves. Cloud gaming a is fantasy by businessmen who have only picked up a game controller to show investors their next source of revenue. Anyone who has actually tried these services has always experienced some latency, but likely had the best conditions to use cloud gaming. Like a wired Ethernet or a wifi that has a strong signal and is 802.11ac.
 

Laowai

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If they did would people use it? Or would they go "eiew gross Microsoft" then download the Steam one, all while Valve and 2 other publishers form up lawsuits against MS for them being anti competitive?
Hah! That sounds about right.
 

Marees

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Microsoft is working on bringing xCloud to PC and Xbox via Game Pass.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer took to Twitter to respond to a question asking if the cloud gaming service will at some point let Xbox Game Pass subscribers demo games instead of having to download them.

"Yes, we want to do this.

It's in the long list of cool things the xCloud team is working on, just a bit further down the list. But we want console and PC players to be able to browse as easily as mobile players, it's a good Game Pass feature."

— Spencer replied.

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/...on-the-list-of-things-its-working-on#comments

So this means that I should be able to buy a refurbished xbox one S or a new xbox series S with all access and then be able to immediately play microsoft flight simulator without downloading 100s of GBs in data !?
 

vegeta535

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No fucking thanks. The day game streaming becomes required is the day gaming dies. I hate how they destroying gaming just to make more money. Another game crash and full reset needs to happen now. Gaming companies like EA, ubisoft, Activision and Bethesda need to just die. Any company pushing cloud gaming also needs to get the fuck out of the gaming business.
 
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