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Microsoft developing tech to stream Xbox games to PC, phones


Courtesy ArsTechnica

Recently, Microsoft’s discussions of "cloud gaming" have centered on how its Azure-powered servers can help add more processing power to games on the Xbox One. Now, a new report hints that Redmond’s server farms may allow the company to stream console games to PC and mobile platforms.

The Verge cites "sources familiar" with a recent internal Microsoft meeting that demonstrated Xbox 360 game Halo 4 running on Windows Phone and PC platforms via cloud-based streaming. Such a solution would allow high-end games to run even on relatively underpowered phones and PCs by handling the input and processing on remote servers, then streaming video and audio back to the user’s screen.

According to the report, Microsoft was able to get latency of just 45 ms streaming the game to a Lumia 520 through the cloud. That would be incredible if true, considering that in-home streaming from a local PC on devices like the Nvidia Shield clocks in at about 100 ms of round-trip latency in testing, and that’s without having to get data from Internet servers that can be thousands of miles away.

For its part, Sony purchased streaming gaming company Gaikai last year and has promised to use the technology to stream PS3 and PS4 games to PS4 and Vita systems (and potentially other devices). Still, Sony has yet to lay out any significant details about its streaming plans, and it says the service won’t be available until 2014.

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