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Microsoft xCloud Now Being Tested By Capcom And Other Game Devs

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Microsoft has offered only occasional updates on Project xCloud since debuting it last year, to the point that we assumed we had heard the last of it until at least E3 2019. But with the big event mere weeks away, Microsoft has shed a little more insight on the progress of its streaming service.

In an update from gaming cloud VP Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft noted that it has deployed its xCloud tech to 13 Azure regions, allowing game developers like Capcom and other devs to test games using the xCloud platform. This follows an earlier employee take-home program that served as the first real-world test.

Microsoft notes that Project xCloud has the potential to stream more than 3,500 games already, across the three generations of Xbox. An update to the Xbox One version of any game would populate across xCloud immediately without any additional work for developers or downloads for consumers. Microsoft also boasts another 1,900 games in development for Xbox One, which could be put on xCloud easily.

Much of this is similar to Google's pitch for its Stadia platform, though Microsoft is stressing the ease-of-use with tools developers are already accustomed to if they've been developing on Xbox One architecture. The blog also notes that it has updated its developer kit with a new "IsStreaming" API, which allows a game to adjust certain options if it detects that it is being played through the cloud. It could, for example, adjust font sizes for smaller displays like a phone, or matchmake multiplayer games from the same server.

The news that Capcom is one target for Microsoft's streaming tech makes sense, as Capcom has already been experimenting with streaming games in Japan. Microsoft and Sony also recently announced a strategic partnership on gaming and cloud services, though it's unclear exactly how that will manifest itself--especially since the announcement apparently took the PlayStation team by surprise.

Microsoft is preparing to "go big" at its E3 2019 presentation, which is widely expected to begin debuting its new console hardware and streaming plans. Check out the full E3 press conference schedule to plan your viewing parties, and then take a look back at how Microsoft has debuted new gaming hardware in the past.

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