For gamers in the room, we all agree that the console game has been won by Sony with the PlayStation 3 and Microsoft knows this as well. Someone even said that Xbox is the Android of consoles, ouch!
That aside, latest stats show that there are about 2 billion people who play video games across the world on different platforms, this is the number that Microsoft is targetting with their latest offering that their CEO describes as “Netflix for games”.
The idea is simple, host games on a powerful remote server and let players stream their preferred games on whichever device they prefer, whether PC, smartphone or a console – It would work the same way Netflix works and thus the comparison. This sounds fairly simple but unlike movies and TV shows that you can survive if things end up buffering, this would be unacceptable in the gaming world as latency is the thin line between winning a game and absolutely flopping – Microsoft is yet to figure out how to solve this problem.
The service, which is still under development and currently known as Project xCloud, will essentially let gamers play high-quality, blockbuster games on any device. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO says that they plan to start public beta testing sometime this year.
Microsoft is not the only company with such an ambitious push into video game streaming. Competitors such as Sony and Google have similar services; PlayStation Now and Project Stream, respectively. With rumours of Verizon and Amazon joining the list soon.