Last year Microsoft discontinued its service for Windows phone, posthumously after the announcement Microsoft has been seeking other operating platforms to expand their flagship project XCloud game streaming.
Before getting into details of how Microsoft is exploring avenues with iOS and android, here’s what one needs to know about XCloud game streaming:
Project xCloud is Microsoft’s video game streaming service, which allows players to instantly stream on console and PC games to their device of choice using an internet connection. Similar to the system used by Google Stadia, where the player is not required to download the games you play in Project xCloud. With Project xCloud (Preview) players can play Xbox games on their mobile phone or tablet directly from the cloud, including favourites such as Devil May Cry 5, Tekken 7, Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, and many more.
Earlier Windows phone users had the in-built option to avail Xbox games through the Xbox live account. But after Microsoft withdrew their services, the availability of the software and chance to play Xbox live games has become questionable.
Users have received notifications that their devices are no longer eligible to receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options or online technical content updates from Microsoft for free. Not only that, Microsoft has also shared that in their official FAQ section that apps which are governed by the Modern Lifecycle policy and are independent of the OS Lifecycle policy. App developers (including Microsoft) may end support for an app at any time. On 12 January 2021, Office apps (Universal Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) will reach the end of support on phones using Windows 10 Mobile and the rest may follow.
Microsoft revealed in an official blog post that, “If you already have the apps installed before the end of support date, the apps will continue to work. However, because of the lack of security updates, we strongly recommend that if you wish to use Office on a phone you transition to the latest Microsoft Office apps on an iOS or Android phones.”
As mobile gaming continues giant strides and cloud gaming is aiming to disrupt the gaming scene Microsoft is also seeking to partner with other operating systems to secure its place as somehow they earlier made a negative impact as soon as they announced the discontinuation of their services from Windows phone. Therefore flagship project XCloud game streaming will be the comeback for Microsoft in the mobile gaming ecosystem.
Where will the audience avail XCloud game streaming?
Microsoft might have seized its own services from the Windows phone, but is exploring other operating systems-Android and iOS as mobile gaming is at its peak.
In May 2019, Microsoft and Sony unveiled a surprising partnership where the companies collaborate to develop future cloud solutions for the game and content-streaming services. While both companies have spent more than 15 years battling it out over PlayStation and Xbox sales, Sony is now looking to Microsoft’s vast cloud experience to help power its existing and future streaming services, and Microsoft is teaming with a rival to fend off far larger gaming competition.
Recently Samsung and Microsoft teamed up on a cloud-based game streaming service, and it’s likely to involve appear on Samsung devices in the near future. The partnership deal was announced during the recent launch of new Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip smartphones, as Samsung revealed that it aims to broaden its Microsoft partnership.
While unveiling Microsoft’s Forza Street game for Galaxy devices Samsung head of US marketing, David S. Park, expressed, “This is just the beginning of our gaming partnership with Xbox. Both Samsung and Xbox share a vision for bringing great gaming experiences to mobile players around the world. With our 5G-enabled portfolios and Microsoft’s rich history in gaming, we are working closely together to create a premium cloud-based game streaming experience. You’ll hear more about it later this year.”
In addition to that, Microsoft is also aiming to bring the Project xCloud preview to iOS devices by way of Apple’s TestFlight programme. According to reports, Microsoft has been testing xCloud on iOS internally but has not opened it to the public yet. Unfortunately, the iOS test will be limited, as its standard with Apple’s TestFlight platform, the new build will be limited to only 10,000 testers.
Not only is Microsoft officially an Android phone maker as they took the wraps off a new foldable Surface Duo smartphone running Android. In October 2019 Microsoft Product chief Panos Panay gave a glimpse of the Surface Duo Android phone that will go on sale in a year.
Since Microsoft is planning to create standalone game streaming, it’s notable that the tech giant has chosen to be platform agnostic which means they are going to launch services across iOS and Andriod. It would be interesting to see how things unfold in the future as they are planning to launch their own android devices as well.