Microsoft is working on an online game streaming service

Microsoft are working on an online game streaming service

Microsoft is working on an online game streaming service

Online game streaming services are not uncommon these days, delivering a console-like gaming experience to users who do not own the relevant hardware. 

For years now publishers have been saying that the next generation of consoles will be the last generation of consoles, with cloud gaming offering developers and platform holders to deliver high-quality visuals without the need for in-home console or PC hardware, making gaming possible on any internet connected device. 

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer stated that their “cloud engineers are building a game streaming network to unlock console-quality gaming on any device” at their E3 2018 press conference, hoping to deliver a great gaming experience on “your Xbox, your PC and your phone”. It is likely that Microsoft’s planned online streaming service will act as a competitor to Sony’s PlayStation Now service, offering gamers a Netflix-like library of games on a range of compatible devices. 

EA has also expressed interest in creating a similar online game streaming service, though they have confirmed that their efforts are in “It’s early days”. 

  

Microsoft are working on an online game streaming service

 

While game streaming will act as a handy entry point into the world of gaming, it is undeniable that online game streaming solutions are far from ideal for many game types. Video streaming often causes a degradation in visual quality and the need to use far away game servers adds a lot of additional input latency to games, making controls feel less responsive and timing-sensitive games a lot harder.

Playing games on local hardware will always be an ideal solution in this regard, though the cost of high-end console and PC hardware will make streaming extremely attractive to a lot of gamers, many of which can afford the cost of a subscription but not the up-front cost of in-home console hardware. 

You can join the discussion on Microsoft’s planned online game streaming service on the OC3D Forums.