Report: Microsoft making game cloud streaming service

Microsoft is rumored to be working on a new online cloud-based game streaming service that is aiming to bring high end Xbox games to devices with low hardware specs. The service was reportedly demoed today at Microsoft's headquarters during a internal company meeting to some employees.

The demo was seen by programmer Rafael Rivera, who attended the meeting and posted word of the presentation on his Twitter account. He stated that Halo 4 was being streamed on multiple devices at the meeting, including one running on Windows Phone. He added that the amount of latency from the cloud service has been reduced to around 45ms.

The upcoming Xbox One game console will allow games to be developed so that they can offload some features to cloud servers, such as AI and game physics. However, Microsoft has yet to officially announce plans to offer a game streaming service. There's no word on what was shown today might be ready for the public.

The service allegedly shown by Microsoft is similar to one launched in 2010 by the private company OnLive. That service is still up and running, although in 2012 the company got hit with mass layoffs that reduced its employee count by at least half. Sony acquired a rival service, Gaikai, in 2012 and has announced that its technology will serve as a way to stream older PlayStation games to the upcoming PlayStation 4 sometime in 2014.

Source: Rafael Rivera on Twitter | Image via Microsoft

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15 Comments

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I would rather download the entire game and play it locally. It will be annoying when the internet goes out or people decide to watch Netflix and your speed decreases.

Honestly, who is asking for all of this streaming? High end streaming with low end hardware specs?

Is there a market where there are people with amazing connections and low end pcs? OnLive says "no".

Sounds good to me, I guess they are taking the fight to Sony. Not sure how advanced this is but I thought Sony/Gaikai were a quite a way in front, maybe not.

skiver said,
Sounds good to me, I guess they are taking the fight to Sony. Not sure how advanced this is but I thought Sony/Gaikai were a quite a way in front, maybe not.

It'd be interesting if MS beats Sony to market with their cloud streaming service. Just think if it's part of Gold and as such you get the ability to stream your Xbox games (the digital arcade ones to start probably) to any Windows PC/tablet and a Windows Phone. That would add a lot of value to being a Gold member IMO.

GP007 said,

It'd be interesting if MS beats Sony to market with their cloud streaming service. Just think if it's part of Gold and as such you get the ability to stream your Xbox games (the digital arcade ones to start probably) to any Windows PC/tablet and a Windows Phone. That would add a lot of value to being a Gold member IMO.


Exactly, I asked a similar question in the the Sony Forum about how Gaikai works - is it a subscription based service on top of PSN+ or will it be a perk of PSN+?

Given the "fitness" app that was just announced as being time limited free access I suspect if they did offer cloud streaming it would be an extra cost. If the price is right I have no qualms paying for a "gold +" style subscription with access to older games/arcades etc.

Things like this really get me excited for next gen.

I think this along with unified app stores are the two main areas that will lift the platforms from their current levels as the value added will be huge.