Microsoft didn’t give us many new details about its Project xCloud game streaming service at E3, but at least we know when it’s going to arrive: this October. As you’d expect, the service will let you play Xbox titles across multiple devices. Since it’s only streaming video of your remote gameplay, like Google’s Stadia, you can expect to access the service on things like phones, tablets, TVs and computers.
But that’s not all: Microsoft also announced that you’ll be able to stream games directly from your own Xbox console, instead of its servers. That’s pretty much what Sony has been doing with its PlayStation Remote Play feature, but Microsoft’s cloud expertise should allow for significantly better performance.
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that Project xCloud will support every Xbox One title, giving it a library of more than 3,500 games. The real question, though, is how it’ll perform against Google’s Stadia, which is the company’s true competition for the next generation of gaming. We don’t have any pricing or logistical details for Project xCloud yet, but you can expect it to be competitive with Stadia.
I also wonder how Microsoft is going to balance the convenience and ubiquity of a streaming service alongside the need for its powerful new “Project Scarlett” Xbox console. If you can easily play something on any device, why invest in expensive new hardware at all?