Four months ago, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Kareem Choudhry revealed Project xCloud, a service that would allow players to stream console-quality games to any device, especially mobiles. We won't have long to wait to see the service in action, though, as Microsoft is planning to present Project xCloud at the Game Developers Conference in March.
The session notes state Microsoft's intention to "connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs. " If xCloud can truly bring Xbox Live to these devices, we can only assume that this may have an impact on achievements — whether they can be earned from the same list on the go, or mobile versions continue to get distinct lists (as we've seen with the Switch version of Minecraft.)
By using Azure-hosted game servers and streaming clients like the PlayFab platform Microsoft acquired just a few days ago, Microsoft promises that "any Console Native game currently shipping in the Microsoft Store on Xbox will be capable of streaming to a mobile device" without developers having to alter their game code at all. Even if streamed on mobile, the games will use the same graphics and "input paradigms", although they can be customised to allow for touch input when a controller is not available.
The aim of the GDC presentation is to show developers how it will work, so the talk won't be aimed at gamers like us, but it will still be an interesting insight into what we can expect. The exact time of the presentation wasn't revealed in the GDC schedule, but we'll be sure to bring you the relevant details of the talk as soon as we can.
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