Project xCloud: Microsoft Announces Game-Streaming Service

The service will bring console games to mobile devices and PC

After hearing about the service at E3 2018, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is now officially announcing Project xCloud.

Project xCloud
Source: Microsoft

Project xCloud is Microsoft’s vision to create a video game streaming service that will allow gamers to play games from anywhere. This would include letting gamers stream games to their PCs, tablets, smartphones and other devices.

The idea here is that Microsoft is planning to leverage the reach it has with its Azure cloud data centers to push Project xCloud. These data centers will essential contain hives of Xbox One video game consoles that will take care of playing the game.

According to Microsoft, it is working to overcome some of the unique challenges that a video game streaming service has. This includes developing new video encoding efforts to reduce lag. It is already testing Project xCloud out at one of its data centers and it looks promising.

Here’s the rub. While what Microsoft is trying to do sounds great on paper, there’s no telling how well it will perform in a real-world setting. Much of America still doesn’t have fast internet speeds. This includes internet from traditional and wireless providers. Instances of lag will be detrimental to the service and make it a hard sell to gamers.

On a positive note, Project xCloud will support connecting an Xbox One controller to mobile devices via Bluetooth. That’s a real blessing, as no gamer wants to play with touch controls. MSFT is still working on a touch screen overlay for games, but I really can’t see it getting much use from gamers.

MSFT stock was down 1% as of Monday afternoon.

As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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