Microsoft Project xCloud (Game Streaming)

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by iroboto, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Michellstar

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    Yes, that SKU it´s interesting. It´s about a quarter of the FLOPS of a supposed 4k machine, could be a perfect 1080p cheap console, even Pennello at Resetera hints at that possibility.
     
  2. Goodtwin

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    For Microsoft, unlocking Xbox Live from their hardware allows a massive expansion in potential users. Subscription services have proved to be a very profitable and steady steam of revenue. Console hardware sales are a constant cycle that peaks and falls. Nintendo is in such a unique position with the Switch that I do not see Xbox Live and Gamepass being anything but a positive for the platform. Switch sells primarily on being a portable console and its exclusive content. Many of the games people would play on Gamepass arent even available on Nintendo Switch. Nintendo and Microsoft are certainly competitors, but its sort of like Tablets being competitors to smart phones. They have a lot of cross over, but they are also uniquely different. A Nintendo Switch isn't really a good substitute for the Xbox One and vice versa. If you really love Halo, a Switch under the Christmas tree might be disappointing, and if you really wanted a portable device to play Mario and Zelda, an Xbox One would probably be pretty disappointing. I live it, and look forward to hearing more of the details. As a Nintendo guy who doesnt plan on buying an Xbox console, this opens the door to sell me Xbox Live, something that would never have happened otherwise.
     
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  3. Jay

    Jay
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    With xcloud being based on X1S/maverick hardware do you think it will perform well enough compared to Google stream?

    I'm not just talking latency, even before the streaming occurs X1 games can have pretty bad frame rates, inconsistent and low resolutions.

    Resolution may be passable on mobile, but encoding from fluctuating and low resolution could really impact IQ.

    All this could really give a bad impression of streaming, even if streaming itself worked well.

    Will they limit it to games that perform well, eg forza's. They can say its the trial until upgrading it to scarlet hardware?
     
    #43 Jay, Mar 11, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  4. Silent_Buddha

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    That's certainly one danger of a streaming focused console.

    As opposed to a traditional console where the gaming experience is consistent regardless of where a person hooks up the console and plays their games (on a farm miles away from a city versus in the heart of a large city, for example), a streaming only device is likely going to offer an extremely variable gaming experience depending on the location of the console, distance from the closest data center, console owners internet quality, etc.

    While, the console maker (MS in this case) can put all kinds of warnings, etc. on the box stating the optimal conditions for a streaming box, it's still quite possible that someone might buy it without looking at that stuff (Grandpa getting a console for his grandkid's birthday, for example).

    There's a fair bit of potential for negative press or negative word of mouth if someone gets one of these streaming consoles and has a bad or non-optimal experience. I'm certainly expecting reddit, twitter, etc. to have mini-explosions when/if MS releases a mainline streaming only console and people start to play games on it. Smaller players can get away with this as it's kind of expected that they're going to get stuff wrong. Expectations of an established player are going to be much higher. Especially if they release it as a mainline product (with associated advertising) versus something that is viewed as just an almost inconsequential side product (like Sony's PlayStation TV, for example).

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  5. AlBran

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    Maybe it can fit into Gamepass as a means of getting people to play faster while the game installs in the background (or while not in-use) or is that too much simultaneous traffic?
     
  6. Silent_Buddha

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    That would be more along the lines of a traditional console that can also play streamed games. A console whose only purpose is to played streamed games, wouldn't have the option or ability to download and play games.

    Although I guess Microsoft's rumored hybrid streaming box, uses the streaming assets to enhance local playback of a game. So worst case you get not so great graphics (lower hardware specs) that aren't well enhanced by whatever internet streaming wizardry they are doing, and in the best case you get something that looks pretty good.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  7. Shifty Geezer

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    For streaming of online games, MS really needs the streaming to be happening at the game server. Consider Apex for example - connecting to the xCloud 'Xbox' which then connects to the Respawn servers which then reports back to the xCloud servers which then feed back to the player, is utterly redundant. Cloud connecting straight to the game would significantly reduce round-trip latency. So all of a sudden, I'm thinking MS should be rolling out a platform for online games to server and stream.
     
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  8. AlBran

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    True. I guess my take on the streaming SKU is that it's more of a discless unit, otherwise, I'm not sure why they'd need anything super special than some streaming decode stick for some stripped down OS and xInput for game control.

    At the same time, I'd wonder if they'd upclock the revision to ensure that games running on it have that much more framerate stability for streaming from the cloud (encode-side), if you get my meaning.

    Xbox One GS (Durango @2GHz/1Ghz Edition! :p + 128-bit 16Gbit GDDR6@ 8.5Gbps )

    edit: crap getting threads mixed up.
     
    #48 AlBran, Mar 11, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  9. Jay

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    My questions was more around xcloud than sku's.
    I.e. Streaming to a phone, or browser for example.
    We've been told that xcloud is X1's in blades, you can look at any DF, NX Gamer, vg tech video and see what the framerate and resolution is like. If its performing like that on a local device what will it be like once you try to compress and stream it?

    Project stream by all accounts performed pretty well.
    If you use any game from the forza's you wouldn't have a problem, but anything else could really give ms streaming a bad name even if the underlying tech perfomed well.
     
  10. Shifty Geezer

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    The lower the source quality, the less impactful compression will be. So, for example, in a game with no AF, the blurry textures won't look any worse. I don't know about frame pacing. Do the other streaming services suffer terribly? We've had PS3 game streaming for years now, on a console pretty notorious for poor framerates. Has it ever been a real issue?
     
  11. AlBran

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    What would the pros/cons be if they did a HW upscale to 4K then compressed that for streaming? Or would it just be better to encode the front buffer before scaling.
    Yeah, I guess I'd be curious if there are efficiencies to be had with 30fps (1 duplicate frame) or 60fps when it's rock solid compared to a fluctuating rate or maybe the encoding just results in less artefacting when compressing to whatever video stream format or maybe saving on bandwidth by only sending every other frame for a 30fps title (enforced 30Hz?). I'm not too familiar with the streaming pipeline.
     
    #51 AlBran, Mar 11, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  12. Chandler55

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    some new footage of xcloud. hard to tell if theres lag from this feed cause its a racing game. public trials later this year



    hehe also my last post on this message board is from 8 years ago talking about onLive and gaikai, funny that
     
  13. iroboto

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    Looks live to me. Just has some latency. She’s practiced before knowing there is latency so she’s gingerly about her actions.

    Left trigger and waiting to see the Brake light was the most telling.
     
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  14. AzBat

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    Different kind of streaming: PC to Xbox.

    Looks like the rather old & buggy Wireless Display app got a major update. Now supports Xbox controller & adds low latency mode for playing PC games.

    Here's the official "What's New"...

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/wireless-display/9nblggh3zw34

    Found this via a nice article from Tom Warren over at The Verge.
    https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/13/...upport-streaming-wireless-display-app-feature

    Tommy McClain
     
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  15. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    sweet, steam box
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

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  17. Jay

    Jay
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  18. Shifty Geezer

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    I think they count as under the planet, along with miners.
     
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  19. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    Can they reach Antarctica?

    :razz:
     
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  20. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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