Project xCloud only adds 10 ms input lag, may need 5 Mbps internet

Project xCloud
Project xCloud (Image credit: Microsoft)

Today, Google is unveiling its streaming platform, but that hasn't stopped Microsoft from dropping some new information about its upcoming Project xCloud streaming service which is expected to enter public trials in 2019. Microsoft's vice president of the gaming cloud Kareem Choudhry sat down with Eurogamer to discuss what to expect from the upcoming service.

When asked about the latency, Choudhry said the following.

From the data centers we have near Washington we're seeing really good latency - less than 10 ms that's being added by the traversal to the cloud. Frankly we find more latency in the Bluetooth stack, connected to an Android phone.

Google's streaming technology requires a lot of bandwidth to stream games at the highest quality, but Microsoft hopes to limit that to the single digits. Choudhry added the following.

We hope to get down to single digit Mbps. I think some of the demos we've shown so far have probably gone down to nine, ten Mbps. Some of the work that we're doing with Microsoft research, I think we'll be able to get a really good video feed probably around six to five.

Lastly, it seems like Project xCloud may be part of Xbox Game Pass. Towards the end of the interview, Choudhry said the following.

Obviously Xbox Game Pass is our subscription service, it's really where we want to deliver great experiences and value to our customers. And right now it's a console product - we have aspirations to bring it to more users and more places. Project xCloud and Xbox Game Pass are going to coexist in some reasonable way.

Hopefully Project xCloud will live up to expectations. In order to be a gaming platform for everyone, it has to be cognizant of internet limitations like data caps. We'll see what the future holds, but answers to those questions will determine who wins the "streaming wars."

Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.