Want to play Halo on your commute or Forza at the coffee shop? Microsoft hopes so, with its newest project aimed at taking the Xbox expanding beyond the traditional home console.
Called Project xCloud, the new streaming technology aims to let users play Xbox games wherever they are, including on phones and tablets. After first teasing the project at video-game conference E3, Microsoft says it plans to open the service to “public trials” next year with testing currently underway.
Microsoft is hoping to give players a console-like gaming experience even when playing on a phone. How the company’s doing it gets a bit technical, but, ultimately, it’s creating special servers based off of the Xbox One and putting it into its datacenters. The hardware combines with improvements to video software and faster cellular networks (including 5G) to make the magic happen.
Xbox gamers can currently stream their games from their Xbox One console to their Windows 10 PCs, but both devices need to be powered on and on the same network. This new platform could take the gaming worldwide and operate independently of whether people own an Xbox.
Gamers are also already able to pair their Xbox One controllers to iOS and Android devices over Bluetooth – technology that requires devices to be near each other. In addition to using controllers, Microsoft says its xCloud will also allow for games to be played using just the phone or tablet’s touchscreen.
The announcement from Microsoft is the latest bit of good news for mobile gaming, which has had a very strong 2018 thanks to the likes of popular games “Fortnite” and “PUBG.” New data from mobile app tracker Sensor Tower released on Friday claims that “Fortnite” has grossed $300 million on iOS alone since its first release on Apple’s mobile platform in March.
According to the firm, the hit game is estimated to have topped over $60 million on Android since its first release on August 9.
Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal
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