Microsoft has hinted that its upcoming game streaming service xCloud, will be officially launched next year. The company has also announced a few new games that will be launched along with xCloud and will also be available on the current Game Pass feature available.
At the company’s XO19 Xbox event currently ongoing in London, Microsoft made the revelation about xCloud, adding further details including that all xCloud subscribers will have access to the over 100 games available currently on Game Pass whether on PC or on its Xbox consoles.
This unveiling is coming just as Google confirmed its own upcoming cloud gaming service, Stadia, which is expected to be launched in just a few days. This will also most likely be the beginning of what will eventually be a drawn-out battle and survival of the fittest, between both companies and their game streaming platforms.
It is already thought by many that the fact that Microsoft already has almost two decades of experience with gaming since Xbox was launched in 2001, is more than enough of an edge against Stadia, which will be Google’s first entry into game streaming.
Microsoft has however not said anything specific about launch dates for xCloud, or how much subscription will cost. The new game streaming platform is expected to be available for Windows 10 PCs as well and it is rumored that this part is the only thing keeping Microsoft from any specifics. Regardless, it is thought that the launch will happen in a few months, a lot earlier in 2020 than later.
xCloud is however not launching with any support for iPad or the iPhone. However, the company is apparently working on a prototype app that will allow easy integration and this prototype is onground at X019.
At the same time, Microsoft didn’t seem eager to let people try it out. It has also been reported that Google’s Stadia will also be launching without support for iOS. iOS policies are known to be a lot more strict than other operating systems and this is probably why both platforms do not yet support it.
Microsoft has also decided to expand support for xCloud controllers. This means that apart from the wireless Xbox One controller, xCloud will also surprisingly be released with support for Sony’s DualShock 4 PlayStation controllers including products from Razer as well. With this, gamers who are not very used to Xbox controllers can enjoy xCloud offerings and even get to play Microsoft-owned games such as Forza or Halo, with the Dualshock 4 controllers they’re already used to.
The company also plans to spread the xCloud preview to other countries such as Japan, Canada, India and some parts of Europe. While no dates have been set for any of these, Microsoft seems to be quite particular about the Indian market. As large a country as India is especially in terms of population, it’s still mostly dominated by PlayStation.
At the moment, its unclear whether or not this announcement or the Sony interconnectivity, is strong enough to do anything for Microsoft stock (MSFT) currently at $148.06, up from its previous $147.31 close. In 2019 alone, MSFT boasts of more than 35% year to date (YTD) returns and is even expected to finish the year much higher.
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Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge.
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