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"Energizing Times": Microsoft Becomes "Big" at E3 in Response to Google Stadia



  Sea of ​​Thieves streams to a smartphone with an attached Xbox One controller.
Enlarge / This controller connector was featured in Microsoft's Xcloud promo video, and support for Bluetooth wireless controllers is also planned. [19659003] Microsoft announced its Xcloud Game Streaming service last August with the goal of bringing console-quality games to gamers wherever they are – on their tablets, smartphones, PCs or even consoles. Yesterday, Google joined the streaming gaming battle with the announcement of Google Stadia, which squeezed Redmond by one by granting the assembled press limited access to stadia games.

Google promises that Stadia will "come 201

9" and possibly a thief steals march on Xcloud, which is to be included this year only in public examinations. In an internal email that gathered troops, Phil Spencer, Microsoft's game chief, did not seem surprised and seemingly unconcerned.

Spencer wrote that Google had "grown up" with its stadia announcement, but Microsoft would have the chance. Also, he promised that the company would "go big" with its e3 presentation and a variety of announcements. He also said that Google's launch confirmed Microsoft's decision to launch its streaming service, and said that Microsoft offered all of Google's identified "content, community, and cloud" key elements, but "it's all about the Execution."

While The broad approaches to Google's announcement did not surprise Spencer. He found that he was impressed by certain elements: "the use of YouTube, the use of Google Assistant and the new WiFi controller". Google has built YouTube as a live streaming platform for games, but it has chosen to play games. However, it decided last year to terminate its stand-alone YouTube gaming app and integrate game features into its regular YouTube apps and pages.

The gaming community of Microsoft is built around its mixer streaming platform and Xbox Live. Mixer keeps its focus on games and offers streamers unique ways to interact with their audience: viewers can vote on in-game actions to help or hinder the streamer; Choose which stats, leaderboards and overlays you can see. and even get control of the gamepad. At the end of last year, Xbox Live had 64 million active users every month, all with their achievements and friend lists. Microsoft plans to significantly expand Xbox Live's reach by supporting Nintendo's Switch, iOS and Android. With friends lists and other features, Xbox Live is likely to be more of a community offering than Google is to YouTube, and if Xbox Live's cross-platform expansion is successful, that advantage can only grow.

  Microsoft has added this card from Azure data centers when announcing Xcloud. These are the locations where the service could be deployed, but do not expect it to happen all at once. "Src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/OMB- Azure-regions-640x357.jpg "width =" 640 "height =" 357 "srcset =" https: / /cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/OMB-Azure-regions-1280x713.jpg 2x
Enlarge / Microsoft has included this map of Azure data centers in their announcement Xcloud added. These are the locations where the service could be deployed, but do not expect this to happen all at once.

The cloud from Microsoft could also provide an important advantage over that of Google. Perhaps the most critical element of these streaming services is their latency; If the latency is too high and the game is too slow to respond to controller inputs, certain types of games, such as first-person shooters, may become unusable. Technology is an element to achieve low latency. Both companies are investing in the development of low-latency video compression. Another element is the simple distance between a player and the data center from which the game is streamed. As part of the Azure building, Microsoft has more cloud data centers than Google or Amazon in more parts of the world. This should mean that low-latency streaming is possible for a broader audience than Google.


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