The entire gaming industry seems to be gearing itself up for its streaming services. Not unlike what we’ve seen in the streaming space for movies, TV shows and music, game streaming is steadily gaining traction.
Another Player In The Streaming Wars
It could explode into life if the reports that Microsoft’s Project xCloud could be coming to PCs any day now. Reddit user u/AnXboxDude posted an image on r/xboxone of what looks like Xbox head Phil Spencer’s Xbox Live profile. In this image, you can see that Spencer appears to be online via an “Xbox Game Streaming (Test App)”. Fans are speculating that this could be the long-awaited Project xCloud service on PC.
Not to be confused with Xbox Game Streaming, Project xCloud is a standalone service that allows users to stream games from a select library of titles. Any device that supports xCloud would be capable of streaming games, provided that the internet connection is good enough.
Xbox Game Streaming is similar to the PS4’s Remote Play feature. You still need to own the main console, which itself will run the games. All Game Streaming or Remote Play does is stream the content from your home console to another device in your household.
Project xCloud Requirements
Project xCloud, on the other hand, doesn’t require the user to own any special hardware. It’s all done online. Project xCloud’s current testing has primarily taken place on mobile devices. Android users especially have adopted this service. All they need is an Android device running Android 6.0 or higher.
The device also needs to be Bluetooth 4.0 compatible to support the mandatory Xbox Wireless Controller. An internet connection with 10 Mbps download speed is also part of xCloud’s requirements. It’s also available in a limited capacity on iOS. This due to Apple’s Testflight app allowing just 10,000 users during its initial launch.
Why A PC Release Would Be Huge
This mobile version of Project xCloud only streams games at 720p. That won’t be enough for PCs since they have larger displays. The PC gaming crowd also expects a certain standard of graphical fidelity and a standard HD resolution simply won’t do.
The game streaming wars are certainly starting to take shape. Sony has PS Now, Google has the Stadia platform, even Nvidia has their take on streaming with GeForce Now. The massive install that Microsoft could have through Project xCloud on PCs could push game streaming into the next gear.