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Game streaming kind of got off to a rough start with Google Stadia not exactly having the smoothest of launches. However, with Microsoft launching their beta of Project xCloud on Android devices and it being a relatively seamless experience, there may be a future for game streaming yet. Now, it seems that Microsoft is doubling down on this, by packing in the new generation’s console hardware into their datacenters by 2021.
At the moment, the server blades in Microsoft’s data centers are powered by Xbox One S hardware which has proven to be a success, but with the new console generation right around the corner, they’re planning to swap this hardware out for the new and improved Xbox Series X’s. This will dramatically increase performance for cloud-based game streaming due to the next-gen processor having the capacity to run up to four Xbox One S game sessions simultaneously. Moreover, the new video encoder boasts specs that are six times faster than the current xCloud server video encoder.
The word on the street is that Microsoft isn’t stopping there, rigorously testing dedicated PC server blades in anticipation of the full xCloud release which will encompass all of the titles that will be available on Xbox Game Pass for PC. These new dedicated PC server blades will not only be used for Xbox Game Pass games but also potentially for all of your Windows PC’s game library in the not too distant future, turning xCloud into the go-to game streaming platform for the masses.
Microsoft should still be on track for the full xCloud rollout later this year on Android devices but have admitted that an iOS release is much more of a challenge. This is due to those awful App Store restrictions that plague developers of all app types. However, Microsoft has assured that conversations are still ongoing and Apple owners could see xCloud on their device sooner rather than later.
We hope to see Project xCloud on Android devices before the year’s out and really see the power of the new server blade hardware in all it’s glory. Does this also spell the beginning of the end for Google Stadia? It certainly isn’t great news for the service and the curtains could very well close on that endeavor by this time next year.