Saturday, August 24, 2019

Microsoft to Build ‘Netflix for Games’ with Project xCloud | AIB

We’ve heard the term “Netflix for Games” more often in connection with the Xbox Game Pass lately, I’ve also used it myself. As far as the type of offer is concerned, that’s true, but technically it’s wrong. A real “Netflix for Games” would have to stream the games as well as movies from the cloud. This is what Microsoft is currently preparing with its “Project xCloud.”

Microsoft is not the only ones, Amazon and Google are also said to have similar ambitions. At Microsoft, Project xCloud is a top priority, so Satya Nadella turned to Businessinsider magazine for an interview. It should come as no surprise that the CEO sees his company well positioned for a game streaming service.

“We have at least the same chance as anyone else,” says Nadella, but immediately adds why he sees Microsoft as an advantage over the competition here. In addition to its own cloud infrastructure, which Amazon and Google can also show, Microsoft has plenty of what is essential in such a service especially: heaps of own games.

“Netflix for Games” – this is what Microsoft calls its project xCloud in-house, and that is probably not only meant technically but describes the ambitious goal. Netflix has become synonymous with video streaming, as has Spotify in music streaming.

Two Billion Gamers Worldwide

Why Microsoft needs such a service, Nadella explains quite simply: “Two billion people on this planet play video games. But we will not sell two billion consoles.” In many countries, players can only dream of a console, and a TV or a PC, for many a smartphone is the only access to the online world. Bringing high-quality games to all possible devices – if you can do that and put yourself in a good position, then a rain of money should be certain. It’s going to be an exciting race.

Latency is a Big Problem

But as simple and convincing as the idea is, the harder the implementation, according to the Microsoft boss. The biggest challenge is to get a grip on the unpredictable latency that would have to be mitigated when streaming over the network. Because the increasingly complex video games require exact timing. So far, the idea of ​​cloud gaming, which has been circulating for at least a decade, failed because of the limited speed and latency on the Internet.

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