Microsoft’s xCloud Project Reveals How Xbox Games Will Become Cloud-Aware

Gaming is one of the most lucrative industries of today. Many specialized people are working hard to upgrade the technology that is used in consoles. However, “slim” or “pro” versions of a system launch frequently, and sometimes people feel like it’s not worth it to invest a great deal of their money for an almost insignificant upgrade. Cloud-based streaming services seem to be the best solution to that. All the processing is done remotely, efficiently, on high-power systems, which means that gamers always have access to the most up-to-date technology. The first company to introduce such a service was Google, with the Stadia concept.

Stadia’s main competition could come from Microsoft, whose Project xCloud is already in a limited testing stage. Just like Stadia’s case, it requires games to make it happen, and it hasn’t yet revealed how developers can do that.

The Goal Of xCloud

Microsoft stated that, unlike Stadia, xCloud’s goal isn’t to be able to run on any device. Instead, it is dedicated to allowing Xbox gamers to play anywhere on the device they might always carry in their pocket, their smartphones. That ideology resulted in a few considerations specific to the use of unknown, general tools, as Project xCloud is revealing the areas where they need to focus on based on their limited Preview.

Controls

The biggest concern that separates mobile games from Xbox games is controls.

Though it’s possible to connect an Xbox controller to a mobile phone, most mobile gamers choose not to do so. Cloud-aware Xbox games will have to support touch overlays that translate to in-game controls, which is more comfortable to do when a game is mainly driven by gamepads instead of the traditional duo of a keyboard and mouse.

In contrast to input, screen sizes might be a secondary concern but still relevant, even with phones that have very high-resolution displays. However, xCloud and any similar cloud-based game streaming service will live and die by how the platform and its games adapt to network connectivity and delay.

Microsoft instructed its game developers to keep those aspects in mind as they are aiming to provide a “best-in-class” streaming experience.

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