The thrill over glorious all-streaming future has faded somewhat in recent months. Google Stadia introduced in November to considerably middling reviews and widespread player indifference.
The Xbox cloud gaming platform is currently in beta level, and by most accounts, suggestions have been substantial; however, following Stadia’s less-than-spectacular entry, it appears Microsoft is cautious to not over-promise.
In a recent interview, members of the xCloud group boast about how easy it’s for developers to make their video games streamable (launching a game takes as little as half-hour); however, they soft-pedaled on other topics. For example, Challenge xCloud VP Kareem Choudhry admits latency isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As a substitute, Microsoft is focusing on consistency of performance.
In the meantime, Xbox chief Phil Spencer completely admits cloud gaming is not a proper substitute for local hardware at this point.
Different messaging than heard from Google, who was promising Stadia, could be superior to local hardware and deliver “negative latency” before launch. However, as already spelled out, xCloud isn’t attempting to be its streaming platform like Stadia; however, simply an outgrowth of Microsoft’s Xbox, so the company can afford to be a bit more real about issues.
As mentioned, Project xCloud is presently in beta stage. The service is ready to release in full sometime in 2020.