Microsoft doesn’t believe that cloud gaming is going to replace console or PC gaming, at least in the short term. So when designing both Project xCloud and Project Scarlett–which is now officially named Xbox Series X–the company built the two to work together, not as separate systems, for playing games. Just as Nintendo’s Switch is a console that can be used to play on the go, Project xCloud allows Xbox owners users to play their games while away from their home setup.
“We’re not trying to tell people that xCloud is going to replace their console or xCloud is going to replace gaming on a PC or replace gaming on a Switch or something like that,” Xbox head Phil Spencer told GameSpot in an exclusive interview. “But we do think that ability for me to take my gaming experience with me–so that when I log in, all my friends are there, all my games are there, my saved games are there… my Achievements, [and] my library is with me–is pretty critical.”
To that end, Project xCloud’s platform is the same as the one for Xbox Series X–which Spencer says should make it easier for third-party developers to design their game and have it easily work for both the cloud service and the console so they “don’t have to port to a new platform.” If you build your game for Xbox Series X, it should work on mobile devices, computers, and other systems that support Project xCloud. “We literally show up to third-party publishers and we hand them a phone [with] their games running in xCloud,” Spencer said. “They didn’t have to do any work to make that happen.”
Spencer points out that this is able to work because Xbox Series X and Project xCloud were designed around the same time as one another. This is different from the Xbox One, which was designed with the idea of implementing cloud support down the road. “[With] Scarlett, we started–at the beginning–saying, ‘There’s a world where [we] might actually put as many of these [consoles] in the cloud as we do in people’s homes,'” Spencer said.
Xbox Series X is scheduled to release in 2020 during the holiday season, which is around the same time Sony will also be releasing its next-gen console, the PlayStation 5.
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