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Job listings point to an Xbox cloud streaming future for Microsoft, including to mobile devices

In March, Microsoft announced that Xbox veteran Kareem Choudary would be heading up the new Gaming Cloud division at Xbox, built specifically to create new gaming experiences that leverage Azure, and on-ramp existing partners into Microsoft's cloud. Ubisoft and PUBG Corp are two big names that already partner with Microsoft for cloud servers, and the partnerships are widely expected to grow.

Of course, today we're using the cloud for dedicated servers in Sea of Thieves, Halo, and Forza, but as Microsoft looks to the future, streaming games directly from the internet to your devices will be the name of the game.

In the form of multiple job listings (thanks, Mike Reaney), it seems as though Microsoft is investing more heavily, moving ahead with these long-rumoured cloud-streaming features, which could (and probably will) include mobile devices.

The first job listing is for a software engineer with mobile development experience{.nofollow} to join the Gaming Cloud team at Xbox. It would be fair to assume that maybe they're simply building mobile apps for developers to use, but the job listing specifically discusses creating "awesome products for excited Xbox fans."

Another job listing{.nofollow} asks for a Senior Software Engineering lead, and gives some hints as to what this mysterious new team is working on. It describes a specific "important project" within the Gaming Cloud division, aimed at bringing entire gaming workloads to Azure.

It's not a stretch to envision how gaming will eventually migrate to the cloud in much the same way music and movies have with Spotify and Netflix. Sure, there are huge complications to overcome such as controller latency and so on, but if the data connection is fast enough (and as global speeds increase, it eventually will be), it becomes a bit of a no-brainer.

I previously reviewed the Utorcase mount for the Lumia 950 XL, and utilizing developer tools for Xbox, I was able to stream my console to my phone in much the same way you're able to to a Windows 10 PC. It offered a tantalising glimpse at what Microsoft is trying to build here.

Microsoft has dozens of datacenters all around the globe and dedicated undersea cables to prepare for these kinds of scenarios in a device-agnostic future powered by the cloud. It might be years before we see the fruits of the Gaming Cloud team's labors, but it certainly seems as though your Xbox library won't be shackled to your console for much longer.

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

15 Comments
  • It's about time
  • Jez, what is the XBox Growth department? There are around 3-5 listings for the department
  • I think MS is doing a good job in improving and adding new services to XBOX. I hope they continue these new experiences and continue to improve the platform. However, i hope MS hasn't lost sight of what makings gaming fun, and that's the games. I hope they are also investing in new games and new studios, IPs and partnerships in games while also doing these great things with their services. I think they are investing in new games, but they need to be more public with them like they are with all these services.
  • I don't think they forgot, it's just, infrastructure is important to a company's future. Like a race, the 1st one get there can grab the most user base. Examples?
    Facebook vs other SNS.
    WhatsApp vs Line.
    iOS + Android vs WinPhone.
    Retailer + point / reward system vs retailer without those.
    Music is not making money but fan service and merchant are. tbh, 3rd party can fill the software gape, for now.
    And Infrastructure and game investment don't need to cancel each other. Win10 / UWP on Xbox brought us BC, FC, XPA and GamePass, PC and Xbox compensate each other.
    UWP + Azure + AI runs on IOT, PC, AR, MR, Xbox, you can even share code between server and client side. As a programmer, that's no doubt a good thing. Why wouldn't you want to share your code between devices and machines? It also means new gadgets, new business model, new opportunity. Sure, go code your websites and mobile apps (a wrapper / skin for your website). We have so many of'em already and we def need more! I cannot help myself to try out new mail client, news client, new social network site, new messenger or new photo decoration app every week. ps: Battery technology isn't evolving. Limited BAT means limited CPU and GPU speed. (Isn't CPU quicker and quicker each iteration? It is, but we downclock'em using softwares). Limited CPU and GPU means? Harder for everyone to build anything new.
  • A welcome feature if it's an addon to the current service. All game saves are synced to the cloud for free (XBL game save is free) already anyway. Use Xbox to game at home, XPA for NBs or small size ARM and streaming for everything else e.g. smartphones. Could be our new normal.
  • Xbox Cloud:
    Pay subscription
    Connect from your streaming-capable device (tv, watch, pc, phone, tablet, headmount, in-vehicle screen)
    Select game from the entire catalogue
    No game purchase
    No install time
    Play This fits in with:
    5G, for speed/latency
    Autonomous cars, they only need basic streaming hardware (autonomous taxi) and you're playing not driving
    Cross-device play, devices as above
    Subscription model, the game publishers are paid a portion of your subscription based on what you play
  • Cloud gaming and cloud app streaming services can be game changer for Mobile devices. Nvidia grid with 10mbps 5ghz wifi connection promises 60fps 720p gaming on their shield tablet. Let's Hope Microsoft also have something similar idea for foldable device.
  • jez you know nothing about gaming, cloud gaming is too early to even be considered, they would probably work on other projects which uses cloud power.
  • Microsoft is one if not the biggest self cloud owners that also does work with their Azure cloud service with partners. So speaking Cloud gaming.. It is NOT to early and MS has a clear advantage over Competition like Sony Playstation that has no foot in anything cloud. And that is exactly the reason to go expand xbox with cloud gaming right now and for their future consoles.
  • The Xbox division? SMDH
    I would think they would be doing something gaming related, but we guess you think otherwise🙄
  • who else is carried away by how the windows phone appears when attached to the Xbox controller
  • who else is carried away by how the windows phone appears when attached to the Xbox controller
  • I like to see WP's... It also makes me mad at MS when I see WP's. Lol
  • I hope Microsoft joins any sort of "xbox mobile" experience with their rumored Andromeda device. That would truly be a device that creates an entirely new category - which is exactly what they said they want to do before re-entering the mobile market. Fingers crossed...
  • 🎈🎈🎈🎈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈 What ⬆his guy just said.