Xbox’ new streaming service hit a major development milestone this week.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer tweeted (below) that xCloud, the team’s upcoming console-quality streaming service, has reached the “takehome release” phase. That stage means developers are now taking the service home to test in a more realistic environment outside of Microsoft’s internal network.
The tweet also suggests that the public will get limited access to the tech in testing later this year.
Congrats to Project xCloud team for completing their takehome release. Excited to get feedback from our internal teams ahead of public trials later this year. pic.twitter.com/un1T8mg0d4— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 1, 2019
xCloud was announced in October of last year and aims to stream games across PCs, smartphones and consoles. The service was shown off at the firm's Inside Xbox event back in March and was demonstrated by showing Forza Horizon 4 streaming seamlessly to an Android smartphone.
It answers one of Microsoft's biggest concerns in the wake of Google Stadia. Where Google might struggle with backing up its tech with compelling content catalogues, Xbox may be offering its entire library of games on the go.
But there are wider concerns with streaming that just getting traditional games to run. Former Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig feels gaming needs fundamental changes to meet a wider streaming audience.