But, Microsoft says, it won’t replace Xbox itself.
Microsoft’s xCloud looks rather interesting. It’s a cloud streaming service from them that will let you stream your Xbox games to any smartphone, tablet, or PC, and Microsoft is promising that it has the tech on hand to circumvent the traditional problem of latency and lag that has thwarted previous attempts at cloud based game streaming. In a lot of ways, it sounds similar to what Google is promising with its Project Stream.
However, Microsoft has the gaming know-how for their effort to come with some pre-made cachet and credibility. That said, they certainly are making some lofty claims about what the service will be able to accomplish. Speaking to Wired, for example, General Manager Kevin Lachapelle claimed that xCloud will work so well, the game might as well be running locally on a console.
“They don’t know they’re running in the cloud,” he said of the games that’ll run on xCloud. “As they’re concerned, they’re on a console that could be in your house.”
Corporate Vice President of Xbox Software Engineering Kareem Choudhry added that in spite of this, however, Microsoft isn’t looking at replacing actual Xbox hardware and consoles with their cloud offerings, stating that they would rather keep both around as options.
“I’m not a fan of the tyranny of ‘or’. We’re going to continue playing in the console space as you know it today.”
So that’s good. I’m interested in seeing how xCloud ends up playing out. While I will personally always prefer playing on local hardware, if Microsoft ends up expanding the reach of console gaming with this effort, I’m all for it.