The streaming service is definitely ambitious.
Streaming for video games has a lot of big challenges to overcome, but it is undoubtedly going to be part of the future of the industry as a lot of the big players are moving into that area one way or another. Google is putting its whole focus there, while Sony and Microsoft are collaborating on cloud-based infrastructure for their services, and even Nintendo is looking into it. Microsoft, meanwhile, announced their xCloud initiative earlier, and now we have some more details on it, particularly how it will function for studios developing games.
Microsoft released a statement about the project detailing some features on the service. One of the key takeaways is how they want to create a service that is for both consumers and developers, and how, with xCloud, developers will be able to update games across multiple platforms at the same time, meaning when they update an Xbox One version of the game, for example, they will update every version of the title.
“Today you can play three generations of amazing games on Xbox One,” Microsoft explains. “That means that Project xCloud has the technical capability to stream more than 3,500 games, without any changes or modifications required by a developer. In other words, developers will be able to dramatically scale their existing games across devices, with no additional development, no additional code base maintenance and no separate updates. When a developer updates the Xbox One version of their title, those updates will also apply to all versions available on Project xCloud without any additional work.”
That’s a pretty big statement, considering how updates now are usually done platform to platform, meaning some can lag behind, especially for smaller companies. Several companies are testing the service now, so it’ll be interesting to see what it all looks like when it comes out in the consumer sector.