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Microsoft will launch xCloud in 2020, with PS4 controllers and PC streaming on its way.



Microsoft plans to launch its xCloud game streaming service in 2020, and the company is expanding it to Windows 10 PCs next year as well. "My expectation is that it will be available by 2020," Phil Spencer, head of games at Microsoft, said in an interview with The verge. Microsoft plans to integrate Project xCloud with the Xbox Game Pass next year, allowing gamers to stream games from the company's subscription service directly from the cloud.

Although Microsoft is committed to some kind of release next year, it is not yet ready to talk about pricing or exact release dates, but Microsoft also plans to bring xCloud to Windows 10 PCs, and it seems that PC games could be transmitted here in the future.

Microsoft is only saying "next year" for Windows 10 support, but it is more likely to appear in the coming months than at the end of 2020. I asked Kareem Choudhry, head of cloud games at Microsoft, about how the company will take care of keyboard and mouse support for Xbox games when they are streamed via xCloud to a PC. Many Xbox games do not currently support keyboard and mouse, and there is a challenge in involving developers. "What you are saying is absolutely true for Xbox game content right now, but there will be more types of content," says Choudhry.

It seems that Microsoft plans to stream PC games through xCloud in the future, but Choudhry is only suggesting that future now. Microsoft is not committing exactly where xCloud will go here.


Photo: Microsoft

With the launch of xCloud in 2020 and an expansion beyond Android, the absent from the list is still compatible with iPad and iPhone. It looks like it's about to change. "We have a prototype application up and running, it's working well," explains Catherine Gluckstein, general manager of xCloud, in an interview with The verge. “We'd love it to be released on iOS, and in time it will be. We are working with Apple. "

I saw the iOS app prototype on some iPhone devices, but Microsoft won't let anyone try it at the company's London event X019 this week. It is noteworthy that Google is also launching Stadia next week without any support for iOS, and it is likely that everything that is impeding immediate support for iOS on xCloud and Stadia is probably related to Apple's App Store policies.

Apple initially rejected Valve's own game streaming app for "trade conflicts" before revising its App Store rules and eventually allowing the rejected app to launch on iOS earlier this year without the ability to buy games. at the Steam store. Apple is increasingly facing questions about its alleged monopolistic practices with the App Store, and even the EU is investigating a Spotify complaint for similar concerns.


Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Problems with iOS aside, Microsoft is also adopting controller support in addition to Xbox One for xCloud wireless control. Microsoft plans to include support for Sony's DualShock 4 controllers in xCloud next year and other Razer Bluetooth controllers and game consoles. This will be good news for people who are used to PS4 controls but want to play areola, Forzaor other Xbox games through xCloud.

An essential part of Microsoft's xCloud test will be to ensure that this eventual service is also available worldwide. Microsoft is expanding its xCloud view to Canada, India, Japan and Western Europe next year. It is unclear exactly when these additional countries will have access, but it is significant that Microsoft is expanding into India. "It's a huge market, they know about franchises … they just don't have access to the franchises they see on the internet on their devices," Spencer explains. "They will enter the Xbox ecosystem through a different device, which is not a console nor a PC."

XCloud could be a great opportunity for Microsoft in India, especially since the Xbox One console didn't do well in a country where PlayStation sales dominated. Although Microsoft is expanding to other countries while viewing xCloud, it is not a guarantee that these markets will be launched. "We will certainly see xCloud in the countries before the release, but not all countries where we are viewing the release will definitely be," says Gluckstein.

Microsoft is obviously talking more about xCloud this week as its main competitor, Google, is preparing to launch its Stadia service next week. Google is being aggressive with its launch plans, even if it has to scale some promised features back to what appears to be a slowly paid beta test. Microsoft's approach has been relatively slow in comparison. "I see it as aggressively responsible," jokes Choudhry when I say that Microsoft seems cautious. "I don't want to assume we know all the right answers. I want to go there and test, and I want to get feedback from the community, find out what the right mix is ​​and do the right thing. It's more important to get it right than get it out fast."


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