“We’re building a service that’s consistent with the speed and high fidelity that gamers expect on their PCs and their consoles.”
Microsoft announced xCloud, their cloud streaming service, earlier this year. Cloud gaming in general seems to be becoming a hotly contested market, with Google having thrown its hat in the ring as well, but even as more and more major players seem to be subscribing to cloud streamed games as the next big thing, there is a lot of wariness among the actual players regarding these initiatives.
The caution is well founded—in the past, streaming services have simply failed to deliver on their promise, owing to the inherent challenges of latency and compression artefacts for video quality, and it’s unclear how these new services will be any different in that regard.
However, speaking to investors in Microsoft’s financial call, CEO Satya Nadella stated that the company’s aspiration is to provide, with xCloud, a service that delivers the same quality as playing locally on your console or PC might.
“We’re… building a robust cloud platform so that anyone can play the games they want with the people they want at any time and place, and most importantly, on any device,” he said.
“Earlier this year, we announced Project xCloud, our future streaming gaming platform with the goal of delivering a quality experience for all gamers on all devices. We’re building a service that’s consistent with the speed and high fidelity that gamers expect on their PCs and their consoles.”
Again, as I said, there is a warranted amount of skepticism surrounding his words. Nonetheless, Microsoft is one of the few companies that is actually well equipped to handle the challenges in this arena, so I am eager to see where they go with this in the future.