Microsoft Announces Project xCloud

Project xCloud will be able to stream “any Console Native game” currently on Xbox store to mobile devices

The time when the public will finally be able to test out xCloud – Microsoft’s upcoming video game streaming service – looms closer. While Microsoft had officially announced the service last year, the tech giant has been notoriously tight-lipped about details such as cost and most importantly, the game library that will be available to stream to our smart phones and tablets.

However, a recent posting about a panel at the upcoming Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) has revealed some tantalizing details about what we can expect from xCloud when it launches. It seems that the service will be capable of streaming “any Console Native” game that is currently available on the Xbox One game store to mobile devices. Even more impressively, third party game developers will not have to alter their game’s code in any way for it to be streamed via xCloud. “Any Console Native game currently shipping in the Microsoft Store on Xbox will be capable of streaming to a mobile device. Project xCloud is an open platform with a customizable Client UX where streaming starts with Xbox game developers not having to modify a single line of existing game code,” the description says.

That may sound awfully familiar to longtime owners of the Xbox One. It is the exact philosophy behind the Backwards Compatibility feature. Publishers and developers do not have to do any work beyond giving approval for their older games to be playable on modern Xbox hardware. In fact, the xCloud session at GDC will be hosted by members of the Backwards Compatibility team including Gus Astopol – the Principal Program Manager for Xbox.

The session includes information on how developers can add features such as glass and touch input to their games without having to change any of their code.

As of this writing Sony offers over 700 video games spanning several generations of PlayStation consoles on PlayStation Now, their own streaming service. It seems that Microsoft is preparing xCloud to launch with a game library as big or even larger without requiring developers to do any extra work on their end. We will of course bring you more detials about Project xCloud as soon as they are available so check back with The Inner Circle soon.

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