Microsoft working on streaming game service. You could be playing Halo 4 on Windows Phone someday

Halo on your phone? No, not Halo: Spartan Assault (although that is a great game), but bonafide Halo on your Windows Phone. That’s something we’ve been dreaming about since Microsoft rebooted their mobile efforts with Windows Phone 7 Series. Can you imagine a world where you prop your phone up and connect your Xbox controller to it and get some Slayer action on the bus? It could be happening sooner than most of you think.

Earlier today, Microsoft had a company wide meeting and demoed some upcoming projects. One demo easily caught the attention of the tech world. Protip: Don’t have a bunch of people in an arena and expect things discussed there to stay secret.

Cloud gaming is something we’ll be seeing in the future from Microsoft. The demo had Halo 4 running on multiple devices like a Windows Phone (Lumia 520, natch) and a low-end PC. It’s a concept right now, but one that works like a charm apparently with latency in the 45 ms range. The demo featured an Xbox controlled attached to the Windows Phone with an accessory (how bad do you want that accessory?).

The service could stream games to any Windows device. And those games could even be a way for the Xbox One to gain backwards compatibility. Right now you can’t play Xbox or Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One, but you might be able to stream them with the power of Azure in the future.

How many of you would want to play Halo or Titanfall on your Windows Phone or Surface when you’re not at home in front of your big screen? Sound off below.

Source: @withinrafael, The Verge, ZDNet

Sam Sabri
  • Will it come as part of a paying Xbox gold account?
  • It's just an internal demo at Microsoft right now. Too early to tell what requirements they'll want. 
  • Internal beta needs to become an larger private beta. That would be a huge selling point for windows phone. I want/need Windows Phone to become a capable gaming platform. It should best iPhone with the branding of Xbox behind it. Just haven't seen it yet. Too early/late to hope things change?
  • I am sure not for premium games. I used a similar Samsung service (beta testing) and it was expensive. Even though it was all free for me for 6 months.
  • Running a service like this or Gaikai I'm sure is very expensive, so I expect there would be a seperate subscription fee. This is a good way to provide piracy-free Xbox 360 games to all Windows PC users and backwards compatibility to Xbox One.
  • Microsoft really needs to offer a bundled service. Getting tired of being nickled and dimed.
  • Indeed they should: instead of charging me separate subscriptions for Office 365, Xbox Live Gold, Skype Premium, and so forth, I'd totally be game for paying for a "Microsoft Premium" account that simply has everything, but at a reduced rate.
  • The reduced rate would be nice if you choose to subscribe to multiple services. Although, having services be á la carte is more flexible in getting only what you need. For example, if someone just wanted Xbox Live, then they could pay $60 a year instead of one "discounted" (yet still costly) subscription across all services.
  • No kidding! Lets offer a bundle that includes office 365, office and windows for computers, some sky drive space, live gold, xbox music, and then a decent discount on MS devices like phones, tablets, and consoles. I am not sure exactly what I would pay for such a package, but a 4 pack of these services for my family for some $500 a year would be justifiable. They may not make as much money off of me per title, but they would be getting ~$400 more from me a year than they are currently getting.
  • Xbox gold account be damned!
  • That would be epic....idk if it will make people switch from isheep though -_-
  • If your phone could automatically (more or less) become a portable Xbox console, then I know plenty of people who would make the switch.
  • Forshizzle.
  • Never ever use that word again in public!
  • Forzaizzle?
  • its actually "Fo Shizzle" learn your ebonics.
  • And it was used in GTA Micheal's Son.... So it's vaild for use in discussion for at least 3 months in the Phone/Gaming world.
  • As if MS would ever make it an exclusive...
  • MS would likely update the iOS smartglass app with the functionality a few months before anyone on WP see it.
  • Sadly this might be true.
  • It is really nice! Only one question and frustration: when?
  • This could be a big win for WP unless they put that same ability on iOS and Android.
  • They better not!
  • Cloud gaming is already "possible" on Android, just not available for the masses.
    Edit: I am talking about non Xbox games
  • Rainy or whatever the stream app is called?
  • It's Onlive before. Not sure if the service are still live though.
  • Did a search and it's still alive. I remember when it debut years ago with the aim of streaming games online where PC system requirements are a thing of the past as any PC can play them, as long as you have an internet connection.
    Unfortunately, Tom's Hardware tested it and found out that the streamed games did not play as smoothly as their retail versions, especially when installed on a top-of-the line gaming PC. Worse still, you need a pretty fast internet connection for a decent experience. Anything less and you end up with lots of lag and pauses during gameplay. Last I heard, OnLive isn't doing that great.
    While I wish the best for Microsoft in this endeavour, I think that it is best that this project be kept in the labs until the majority of the world have access to the fastest broadband connection, unless they want to end up in the same spot as OnLive.
  • 2016
  • Now this is awesome news!
  • No offense, but I'm tired of reading about concepts (e.g. Blade) that aren't ready for sale and what upgrades or unification they might be "working on". Microsoft hasn't the faintest idea how to build and SUSTAIN excitement for their consumer products.
  • This was at an internal company meeting. You weren't even supposed to hear about it. The prototype demo wasn't even intended for public consumption.
  • Basically, just cut yourself off from all sources of news and you will be happy and delighted when things come out :P
  • Piss off! We dont need another troller.
  • Someday = not in our lifetime
  • So true. The way MS moves...
  • That's why Microsoft needs a "Visionary" like Mr Elop or someone like him.
    My friends and I were discussing this very topic today and we all agreed if Microsoft created a means for us to enjoy games on our Windows Devices its a wrap.
  • Is Elop really a visionary? What are some of his "visionary achievement"? I'm legitimately curious.
  • Exactly, I like discussing such things too. Microsoft has the advantage because the possibillity of the future needs masses on Windows Desktop, which Microsoft has. Unless Microsoft is quick to launch such things, others will launch them sooner and steal the Windows users. Something I think Android did to get over iOS.
  • I view Elop more like a fixer/plumber than a visionary, and I mean that as a compliment, not an insult. The reason I say this is because he shifted Nokia away from Symbian to WP and Asha (though mired by bad execution and debatable, but at least he managed to cut its losses and turned WP into a 3rd ecosystem), brought NSN back to profitability after years of losses under OPK, shed a number of useless projects and bought some useful technologies like Scalado (Hence Smart Shoot, Smart Cam, etc.). Not to mention that he regularly attend interviews and Q&As, something which OPK did not even do at all. Regrettable that the D&S division have to be sold though.
  • Someday we will be able to play golf on Mars too.
  • This would be epic !
  • Dont know about you but this is Huge, very huge, can possibly give ios / android a run for its money type hugeness.
  • I agree this would be rather big. More like huge as you said. Jisy thinking about it.. Wow so much potential. Sure you could botch something together and use your phone as a screen to play xbox from another room, but it would work for while you were at the bog at best. This would make it REAL
  • I want! *tosses wallet*
  • It would be nice if their promise of "three screens" was fully realized before introducing anymore half baked concepts
  • Maybe this is part of the three-screens plan. Today's half-baked is tomorrow's reality.
  • They should do remote play, like Ps vita and ps4.
  • Knowing Microsoft, they will make it IOS and android compatible.
  • +1
  • yeah I love Halo Spartan on my android and iphone... oh wait...
    I wonder when people like you will get some intelligence... just saying. especially when this was shown (supposely) in WP, like lumia 520, did you miss that part from the article?
  • Besides Spartan assault. That's different. I mean like Skype, look at our Skype app versus IOS. We get the feature like 6 months later. We haven't even got file sharing yet. And yes, we will have to wait another 6 months for it to be enabled on 8.1. Also, where is the Microsoft made WSOP full house app on windows phone?
  • May be not Halo but for example Skype always get new feature on ios or android first...dont take it too deep though :)
  • Windows version will never come, MS has made it clear to all PC gamers that it wants nothing to do with them, and short of releasing all Halo games on the PC nothing will bring the PC gaming community to Microsofts side, Especially after they repeatadly screwed up game released and then shut them down completely like AOEO, then completely shut down GFWL without a replacement that would enable people to continue to play GFWL games they already own.
    And how about WSOP Full House, after January 2013 Microsoft has said nothing about its Windows 8 plans while it has been on the Xbox 360 for months in Beta.
  • Bravo!! Nice looking forward to it
  • Take My Money
  • Like OnLive?
  • Microsoft needs to keep this as a windows phone exclusive! This is a huge feature and I'm sure people will turn heads for something like this. I'm not sure if its only for Microsoft games right now, but imagine playing COD, or battlefield ON YOUR PHONE?!?!? oh mah gawd
  • Halo 4 on WP, ... streaming games? Microsoft can go fuck itself. How about bringing Halo 3 & 4 to the DAMN PC. How about MS first do that before talking about some stupid game streaming schemes.
  • Why put efforts on one game at a time...dont you want all at once? That's the idea of this service.
  • This would bring it to the PC, in fact the meeting had halo 4 being played on a W8 PC through streaming.
  • Streaming games on Surface from XB sure. Windows Phone? /pass. That's useless.
  • Its not streaming from the Xbox, its streaming from Azure. And they had a Xbox controller plugged into the phone, with the larger wp's and the rumoured but inevitble 1520 it wouldn't be a bad change from just playing mobile games
  • Where it's streaming from doesn't matter. /pass on playing Halo, etc. on a 4.5" or similarly sized AKA
  • You'd rather play games like Modern Combat and NOVA over actual Halo, rendered elsewhere and streaming to your device using a controller?. Granted the screens are small but it would provide a breadth of games not normally available on tablets and phones
  • Totally agree, would be killer on Surface RT or Surface 2.
  • Amd surface mini biatch -.-
  • You will die for not adding that. :p
  • Windows phone 8.1 will be available on 21/10/2013.....source-> windows phone support. while i was talking to solve a problem i asked him about GDR3.
  • Na its gdr3 for everyone except at&t. Wp8.1 is for early next year and for at&t around June 2014
  • So why he told me that windows phone 8.1 will be available soon (may day before Nokia's event)
  • Support is support, they at times are not as accurate as they should be. 
    No way 8.1 comes out before gdr3, jus tnot happening. 
    I would love to see a screenshot of this twitter convo. 
  • I really wish but its gdr3 it will ship with devices Nokia announces on Nokia event around mid Nov. So maybe the first update for other lumias will be around mid Dec. Mid. January. And on march will probably see first Lumia device running better hardware and 8.1 blue.
  • come on xD joe belfiore already confirmed 8.1 for next year and GDR3 for this year in a tweet some time ago xD haha Microsoft support is clueless...
  • How about ATT give me my damn gdr2! #babysteps
  • wait month you will take GDR3
  • LoL Coming soon.
  • If its not just a typical MS concept than yes I want in
  • Have a feeling this isn't going to happen anytime soon or ever.  IM guessing we are multi years out at the least. 
    Sounds great on paper, implementing it, different story. 
  • Already more than half way if it was demoed.
  • This will be awesome and the implications are huge. Great things can happen if MS gets this right.
  • This will give other fanboys to shut their mouth about app lackster.
  • Me me me(enthusiastically raising my hand). This would be awesome although I wonder how much of the game would get lost in translation with the limited hardware of smartphones compared to the systems?
  • To all those thinking this is some far off concept, you need to realize that this is not much different from what Steam is doing right now. With the number of new Azure clusters they're putting up for XBone gives them the power to do this tomorrow.
    My guess is sometime next year after the release of WP 8.1. It may even be their "one more thing" at the announcement.
  • This would make an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription a bargain at $60/year (I assume it'd be behind that paywall). I'd gladly throw $50-75 at a controller with a mount to do this.
  • Certainly Microsoft will roll this out in the next couple of years. Sony has Gaikai on PS4 and they have to match that on XB1 for feature parity...and since they haven't said a darn thing about backwards compatibility, it's pretty much a lock that this is their strategy.
  • Just one practical question, how do you hold your phone when you hold an Xbox controller. You'd need some special controller that can be attached to the phone...
  • Windows Phone 8.1 brings a levitation feature ;)
  • I would love to play Halo Reach on my phone, although I feel like these demos take forever to get implemented.
  • Who wants to bet that the services is made available to iPhone and Android first?
  • This is launching in 2 weeks. Taking preorders starting tomorrow... You read it here first on the WPC comments section! I'm your commenter, PootButt. ;-)
  • Halo on your phone, now is your chance, to have halo on your phone and halo in your pants.
  • This is what smart glass should have always been. Make it W8 exclusive that you can stream games to your computer/tablet
  • Shut up and take my money!
  • This is the kind of stuff I want to hear and see from Microsoft. Bring it on!
  • I would be fine enough with Halo blessed Combat Evolved on RT.  I have a controller, let me play it please.  I will rebuy it for the fifth time.
  • Id buy that for a fistful of dollars. Anytime Microsoft. Seriously don't 'Courier' out on this one.
  • Honestly... if I'm in a situation where my gaming is confined to a phone it's probably also likely id have no desire to try and use a controller at that point. My serious gaming happens on the TV, intermediate on Surface and casual, on the go happens on phone. Glad they're working on a game streaming service but I'd rather see a small, almost NES controller-like peripheral(official by Xbox) for Windows Phone.
  • That's flippin' awesome!
  • To me to big question is finding a way to upload your original 360 save file to the cloud to be used in conjunction with this tech. Unifying progress across all platforms will be the greater accomplishment.
  • Please, MS... Take ALL MY MONIES!!
  • Anyone can tell how the cloud/streaming games working? I mean the mechanic concept. Because when I read streaming, it always associated with bandwidth cost.
  • Obviously it will use data, so yes bandwidth will cost.. Either way I. Excited, Tmobile unlimited data and hopefully a 1520 variant by spring!
  • Yes please!
  • These types of games would be completely unreadable on a phone, and awful without a separate controller. Even Spartan assault controls fairly miserably. Halo proper would be a nightmare.
  • Here's what I think: Microsoft should give all Windows Phone users the accessory and an Xbox One :P
  • I think i need clean pants...... Yep, i was right. :P
  • Sam, 3rd paragraph, "Xbox controlled", I think you meant Xbox Controller. Of course, who wouldn't want them, it will be amazing to say the least. ;-)
  • ... and it'll launch on iOS, then Android... then Windows Phone.
  • Fyi u need 20 mb line and need to be in us (US) only !!
  • Gimme the 1520 sized Lumia and sure!
  • THIS Is why I'm into Windows Phone! Come on... do you know how much work I won't get done if I could sit here and play Skyrim from my phone? Holy jesus.  And I could stop begging the Pinball FX guys to make a WP version because I could stream my Xbox 360 version.  Man i hope this becomes a consuemr reality!!!
  • Man I'm so pissed Pinball FX was cancelled for WP. That was THE game I was looking forward to most.
  • That makes me sad :'( They made it for the low selling Vita and not for WP8- makes no sense.
  • Yeaaahh !! Heckkk!! Hope it'll consider 512 of rams because where all considered as humans.
  • Think about how huge this would boost WP sales if MS was actually able to polish this ability and find a way to stream your 360 or Xbox One collection to your WP. That would be beyond huge. I bet a ton of harcore gamers would switch platforms just for this feature alone. Right now Android and iOS have the edge on mobile gaming on smartphones but this would be one thing that neither of those other platforms could deliver. I hope this happens.
  • Best news of the week. Hope this bears fruit. It would be huge boon for the platform and a leg up on the competition.
  • This is what I've been wanting for ages. To be able to play console games in the console gaming network (Xbox Live or PSN) on your phone or tablet would be extremely awesome. Halo 4, FIFA, Madden, etc... and to be able to use a regular Xbox or Playstation controller... this is what I want. I would definitely subscribe to this service.
  • Ok, cool BUT ! Sony does something like this with SOME games on the PS3/Vita.
    So, your going to take COD-Blackops 2 or Halo 4 and play it with a touch screen ? Seriousy ? That would suck. Games for WIndows Phone/iOS/Android are designed or modded to work with a touch screen when you take a controler that has 8 buttons (not inclulding start or select) and 3 sticks (2 sticks and 1 pad) and try to use it on a touch screen ?
    LOL, Unless they make a blu-tooth Xbox 360 controler, then MAYBE. Then you have your internet connections on both sidess, you need to have a good LTE connection and good cable modem like for this to fully work.
    Personally back in the WIndows Mobile days, I was playing Duke Nukem 3-D/Doom 2 over a RDP session....Yea, it worked but, the on screen keyboard was not the best for it.
    This would be cool if they could figure this all out (esp the controller thing) but, it is a prototype and that is all, like the illumiroom thing, it will never be released :(