Xbox Project xCloud locks down SK Telecom deal for Korea launch

Project xCloud

Project xCloud (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced a deal with SK Telecom ahead of Xbox Project xCloud.
  • The duo aims to power early Project xCloud tests in South Korea this October, leveraging its 5G infrastructure.

Microsoft continues to lay Project xCloud foundations, its Xbox-based game-streaming service slated for early testing this October. Redmond has now partnered up with South Korean mobile carrier, SK Telecom, expanding its launch preparations, while tapping into 5G mobile coverage.

Project xCloud's rollout plans remain tight, committed to preview testing from October. xCloud server hardware deployment is underway across North America, Europe, and Asia, though firm availability details remain unclear. The new SK Telecom deal confirms South Korea among initial test regions, serving opportunities to "selected" SK Telecom 5G/LTE subscribers.

SK Telecom Vice President and Head of MNO Business Ryu Young-sang, announced the deal in Seoul, South Korea today, accompanied by Corporate Vice President of Project xCloud, Kareem Choudhry.

"Partnerships, like the one we announced with SK Telecom today, are critical to continuing that trajectory and moving the gaming industry forward, starting with the incredibly engaged gamers and game studios in South Korea," stated Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President, Gaming at Microsoft.

5G falls hand-in-hand with Project xCloud ambitions, serving up high-speed, low-latency connectivity fit for game streaming demands. Microsoft targets a mobile-first implementation of its on-the-go Xbox service, with early trade show demonstrations tied to Android devices. Truly mobilizing its gaming platform, the ongoing 5G rollout plays a crucial role in early success.

South Korea sits among those at the forefront of 5G, with three carriers initiating deployment in late 2018, fast-expanding availability since. It's unclear if Microsoft aims to pursue similar details in the west, though the U.S. and UK are among expected test regions.

How to play Xbox Project xCloud preview tests

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.