We heard recently that Ubisoft CEO expected the next generation of the Xbox to be the last with the industry moving towards a streaming based solution. Microsoft backed up this prediction as it showed off plans at E3 that the company is working on a game streaming service from the cloud.
Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s gaming chief, revealed the company is working hard at building a streaming game service for any device. “Our cloud engineers are building a game streaming network to unlock console gaming on any device,” says Spencer, and the service will work across Xbox, PCs, or phones.
While the news was absent from any clear dates, it does show the focus that Microsoft has on the future of gaming. Previous plans from Microsoft have hinted that it is already working on a streaming service for gaming and was expecting the product to be ready for market within three years.
He also revealed that Microsoft is making a new Xbox console, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Microsoft team, Spencer said, are “deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles.” The next console is expected to have a heavy focus on artificial intelligence for gaming, although quite at this stage it’s not clear how that will exactly manifest. “Our experts in Microsoft Research are developing the future of gaming AI, so the worlds and characters we enjoy will be richer and more immersive,” explains Spencer.
The real only game streaming service that is seemingly any good right now is NVIDIA with its efforts to stream PC games around the home. PlayStation also has its Now service and also acquired the now shutdown OnLive service. Despite these existing, they all have a common problem of latency with the required connectivity simply not being available to support such bandwidth demands. When you take into account a streaming service will be internet based, bandwidth issues become even more prevalent with restrictions and limits also coming into play.
While a new Xbox is a good few years away and the streaming service even further, the revelations at E3 at least put to bed the rumors that Microsoft too sees the future as cloud-based.