We just announced that Project xCloud – Microsoft’s game streaming service – would soon be integrated into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at no additional cost. Now we’ve learned that even more details will come to light in August 2020, just one month before that integration happens. One of those big details will likely be a new name, but according to Xbox Head, Phil Spencer, in an interview with The Verge, an official and final name has yet to be decided on.
“This isn’t the official name, but you should think about it as Game Pass streaming or Xbox streaming, something like that. We actually don’t have the final name just yet, but it won’t be Project xCloud.”
And, Xbox isn’t planning to sleep easy on xCloud – or whatever it will be called – as it is. The company has big plans that could put it in a position to knock Google Stadia and even YouTube down a peg. As you recall, the idea with game streaming services, at least in part, has been to offer instantly playable demos, no download required. If things go right, any AAA game you’re considering might be partially playable before you purchase. It’s something Google has been aiming to do with Stadia and YouTube for a while now but has yet to pull it off. So, that raises the question: is Xbox capable of beating Google at its own game?
“We want that trial to be as easy as it is in music and video today, where I can send you a track in Spotify today and you can stream it instantly. Over time, anywhere I see a game I should be able to give it a try.”
Admittedly, I haven’t had the chance to work too much with either Stadia or Project xCloud, but I have played on both. In general, I feel like xCloud still has a few bugs left to work out and Stadia did seem to have fewer issues at times. It still seems like both are in their infancy, though, and things can only get better. If Microsoft can perfect the process of game streaming, make it available to people without the need for outrageous internet connections and nail the concept of instant demo streaming, then xCloud, or whatever it will be called, could soon dominate the game streaming market. ATP will be sure to update you as more details come to light.