It’s GDC 2019 week, which means every bigwig publisher and developer will discuss and bring up the next gaming trends and design to set a path towards 2019, 2020, and beyond. And what better way than with a few words and quotables from Microsoft and its xCloud cloud gaming initiative?
“[We plan] to enable them to play the games they want when they want on the device they want. Our strategy is shifting from one that’s console-centric, where step one is please buy our console and steps two through to 58 are things accessed off the console.
We’re starting to put the customer at the centre of what we do, and recognise that they have multiple devices, multiple lifestyles, then bring it all together in a cohesive way.”
Here are more key things Microsoft has said in solving the obvious cloud gaming problem: latency and lag.
“From the data centres we have near Washington we’re seeing really good latency – less than 10 milliseconds that’s being added by the traversal to the cloud. Frankly we find more latency in the Bluetooth stack, connected to an Android phone.”
“We hope to get [the connection] down to single digit mbps. I think some of the demos we’ve shown so far have probably gone down to nine, 10mbps. Some of the work that we’re doing with Microsoft research, I think we’ll be able to get a really good video feed probably around six to five.”
On how GamePass will work alongside xCloud:
“Obviously GamePass is our subscription service, it’s really where we want to deliver great experiences and value to our customers. And right now it’s a console product – we have aspirations to bring it to more users and more places. Project xCloud and GamePass are going to co-exist in some reasonable way.”
On whether cloud gaming will be the death of consoles:
“I’ve been building consoles for 15 years – we’re not getting out of the console business, we spoke about it in our xCloud videos. We love our consoles, we love that business, and we’re super proud to have the most powerful console out on the market place today and that leadership position we hope to retain going forward.”
“And I also believe your best premium experience is going to be dedicated hardware running under your TV in your living room. It’s an ‘and’ conversation, not an ‘or’ conversation. Everyone loves to jump to the death of consoles, and I think it makes a great headline, but we don’t think that way at all.”
The future is cloud, and hopefully he’s right about xCloud being complimentary towards console gaming.