Originally announced in 2018, Microsoft have unveiled Project xCloud at their X019 event on Thursday. A cloud based streaming platform which will allow Xbox players to play their favourite console games on through their phone or tablet. Essentially allowing for portable gaming.
Microsoft have always been cautious in their approach to mobile gaming. Never fully committing to taking the plunge when developing a portable console, happy to let Nintendo and Sony thrash it out between them while they focus on home consoles.
But as we said in an earlier article, the time to get on board with portable gaming is here. Nintendo have owned this space for a long time and Sony have made two attempts to get involved. But neither has come close to toppling Nintendo from its throne as portable king.
The PSP and PS Vita were both fantastic portable consoles, loaded with games and were arguably much more high-end than Nintendo’s offerings. But neither made a dent.
Microsoft have been watching this from the side-lines along with everyone else. Taking on Nintendo in a straight up battle for portable supremacy may not be wise but tackling it from another angle could work well. Sony seem to have the same idea after reports swirl regarding the PSP 5G and more recent reports regarding a PS Vita 2.
The Nintendo Switch has changed the game, portable gaming is now finding a way to have console quality games while on the go, and Sony and Microsoft are aware of this. PlayStation’s remote play feature was a nice idea but never caught on. However, we expect both Sony and Microsoft will be utilising streaming technology once the next generation of consoles get here. It will just be interesting to see how Nintendo react.
So far, the xCloud service has only been announced on Android devices but Microsoft is also hoping to bring it to iOS. 50 games are planned for launch and the company hopes it will coincide with the launch of Project Scarlett. Their next gen console competing with the PS5.