There has been a lot of talk and excitement about game streaming over the past few weeks, thanks to both Microsoft and Google announcing game streaming platforms at a pretty damn similar time. Well, Microsoft has thankfully chosen GDC as a good time to give us a few more details about the upcoming streaming service which allows gamers to stream Xbox One titles to their mobile devices.
In the presentation led by Gus Apostol of Team Xbox, the primary focus was on how the service will change how games are played across different devices. Firstly there will be several tools available which allow developers to add custom touchscreen controls for their games, although developers will not be forced to do so. While the service was demonstrated with the use of a controller it is clear that for the generation who are growing up with touchscreens as their first controllers the option of glass-based controls would be a must-have in most situations where developers are looking for a larger player-base. They also showed off the ability for developers to automatically switch between touch-screen based controllers and pinch/swipe controls in menus and maps, since using a faux controller on those screens while using a mobile device can feel unnatural.
Another interesting fact about the xCloud presentation was the fact that the service is going to be both streaming and device aware. In the first instance, this means that simple code will be included in development tools which allows a game to know the difference between being played directly on a console versus being streaming to a mobile device, without the developer needing to make heavy coding changes. The second, device awareness, basically refers to the intention for games to be aware not only of the bandwidth on which they are being streamed but also the type and capabilities of device they are being streamed to and adjust themselves accordingly.
The presentation made it very clear that Microsoft is looking to make the transition for both developers and gamers as simple as possible. Many of the developer tools showed off demonstrated that game development didn't need to be changed all that much and that companies wouldn't need to prepare separate console and stream versions of their games. It looks like xCloud is shaping up to be a very interesting development for everyone in the industry.
Are you excited about how project xCloud is shaping up? Will you be streaming all your games soon? let us know what you think down below!