Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of gaming, has said the company plans to launch its gaming streaming service XCloud in 2020 and expand it to Windows 10 PCs, foreign media reported. In addition, Microsoft plans to integrate Project XCloud with Xbox Game Pass next year, allowing players to watch live games directly from the cloud through the company’s subscription service. However, Microsoft did not disclose the price of the service or the exact release date.
Kareem Choudhry, head of Microsoft’s cloud gaming business, was asked how the company would handle keyboard and mouse support when the Xbox game was extended to PCs via XCloud. After all, there aren’t many Xbox games that support keyboards and mice right now, and getting developers involved can be a big challenge. “There are concerns about Xbox game content right now, but we’ll have more types of content in the future, ” says Mr Chaudhry. “
It does sound like Microsoft plans to watch a PC game live on XCloud in the future, but Choudhry is now hinting at the possibility. Microsoft doesn’t exactly promise where XCloud will eventually go.
The iPad and iPhone are still not on the support list, despite Microsoft’s announcement that it will launch XCloud in 2020 and expand to devices other than Android. However, that may soon change. “We’ve got a prototype application and we’re starting to run, and it’s doing great,” explains Catherine Gluckstein, XCloud’s director. We hope it will be released on iOS and available in due course. We are working with Apple. “
In addition to the Xbox One wireless handle, Microsoft XCloud also accepts third-party handle support. Microsoft plans to support Sony’s DualShock 4 handle spair, as well as The Thunderbolt’s Bluetooth handle and game pads, in XCloud next year. It’s going to be a very welcome move for those who are used to the PS4 handle but want to play Halo, Forza or other Xbox games via XCloud.
A key part of Microsoft’s XCloud testing will be to ensure that the service is also available worldwide. Microsoft will expand its XCloud preview to Canada, India, Japan and Western Europe next year. It is unclear when these countries will gain access, but Microsoft is expanding into India, which is significant.
XCloud could be a huge opportunity for Microsoft in India, especially as The Xbox One console underperforms in a country where PlayStation sales dominate. While Microsoft is expanding into other countries during the XCloud preview, there is no guarantee that these markets will start.
Microsoft has apparently begun to talk more about XCloud recently as its main rival, Google, prepares to launch the Stadia service next week. Google is pushing ahead with its launch plans, compared with Microsoft’s relatively slow approach.