Microsoft announces cloud gaming initiative Project xCloud

Microsoft announces cloud gaming initiative Project xCloud

Software and games giant Microsoft has revealed a brand new cloud service called Project xCloud.

In a blog post on the Big M's site, Kareem Choudhry, CVP for Gaming Cloud wrote that in the future, consumers will be able to play high-quality games on any number of devices. This echoes what head of Xbox Phil Spencer said at the close of this year's E3 press conference.

The company has announced plans to start trials in 2019 but that this was a multi-year project. Microsoft has hinted that this will be available on console, PC as well as mobile devices.

Users will be able to play with an Xbox gamepad, or via touch controls if they're on mobile.

At the moment, there are 54 Azure data centres around the world that will be powering this service, with Microsoft revealing that xCloud will be available in 140 different regions.

"The future of gaming is a world where you are empowered to play the games you want, with the people you want, whenever you want, wherever you are, and on any device of your choosing," Choudhry wrote.

"Our vision for the evolution of gaming is similar to music and movies — entertainment should be available on demand and accessible from any screen. Today, I’m excited to share with you one of our key projects that will take us on an accelerated journey to that future world: Project xCloud.

"Today, the games you play are very much dictated by the device you are using. Project xCloud’s state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology will offer you the freedom to play on the device you want without being locked to a particular device, empowering YOU, the gamers, to be at the center of your gaming experience."

There's a video below explaining the service:

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Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.