Microsoft says Project xCloud streaming service won’t replace Xbox consoles

Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has been pretty quiet about its Project xCloud game streaming service since its announcement last October, but now it appears the tech giant is ready to set the record straight regarding its cloud gaming future.

In a new post on Xbox Wire, Kareem Choudhry, CVP of Gaming Cloud at Microsoft, described Project xCloud as "a vision for game-streaming technology that will complement our console hardware and give gamers more choices in how and where they play."

Citing advancements in content delivery technology that have changed the way we read books, listen to music and watch movies "on whichever device is most convenient", Microsoft hopes it can do the same for gaming.

The Redmond company hopes to achieve the lofty goal of streaming "true console-quality gaming" to "2 billion-plus gamers around the world" with the use of advanced networking technologies developed in-house and via its numerous data centers across 54 Azure regions.

You always take the gameplay with you

"We’re developing Project xCloud not as a replacement for game consoles, but as a way to provide the same choice and versatility that lovers of music and video enjoy today," says Choudhry. "We love what’s possible when a console is connected to a 4K TV with full HDR support and surround sound – that remains a fantastic way to experience console gaming."

However, Choudhry states that the real aim for Project xCloud is to create a "future where you will be able to seamlessly access content on your phone, tablet or another connected device."

"We now find ourselves at an inflection point, where current technology can deliver a console-quality experience with the right cloud infrastructure, content and community in place," says Choudhry.

We certainly hope that Project xCloud can deliver on that promise – we'll find out for sure when Microsoft begins public trials of the service later in the year.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.