Microsoft, SK Telecom partner for Xbox Project xCloud From left: Corporate Vice President, Project xCloud, Kareem Choudhry, VP and Head of 5GX Service Business Division at SK Telecom, Jeon Jin-soo, General Manager, Project xCloud, Catherine Gluckstein.Source: SK Telecom

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has expanded its partnership with SK Telecom, welcoming more Korean users to its Project xCloud Preview, and introducing new Xbox One titles.
  • SK Telecom states that Project xCloud testers in Korea on average spend 1.75 times longer gaming while revisiting the service three times more.
  • Microsoft launched the Project xCloud Preview in Korea last year, entering a partnership with SK Telecom, and leveraging its 5G infrastructure.

Microsoft continues its ongoing rollout of the Project xCloud Preview, providing a glimpse of its Xbox game-streaming technologies, ahead of a broader rollout scheduled for 2020. The invite-only test brings full-fledged Xbox One console gaming to mobile devices, leveraging Redmond's cloud knowhow to deliver low-latency gaming over the internet. And with Project xCloud tests underway in the US, UK, and Korea, Microsoft has expanded eastern availability with SK Telecom.

Microsoft partnered with SK Telecom back in October, among the first mobile carriers under exclusive contracts to support the rollout via their 5G networks. The partnership continues with its latest expansion, inviting more users to preview tests, while further expanding available titles in the region.

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The announcement also provided the first insight into Project xCloud Preview usage data, with Microsoft spotlighting increased platform usage in the region. "Project xCloud preview participants in Korea are on average spending 1.75 times more time gaming and revisiting three times more compared to the participants in the United States and United Kingdom," stated SK Telecom in a press release.

Xbox Project xCloud RevealSource: Microsoft

The increased interest comes as little surprise, with Korea among famed mobile gaming havens. Over half of the Korean online population consumes mobile games, according to Newzoo, providing ample opportunities for future Microsoft expansions. That follows hard times for Xbox One in Korea, with PC and mobile dwarfing console adoption, at the heart of ongoing localization woes.

"Our partnership with SK Telecom has played a valuable role in helping Microsoft reach new, mobile-first gamers while also learning more about delivering high-quality game streaming through 5G networks," stated Corporate Vice President, Project xCloud, Kareem Choudhry. "As we enter the next phase of our preview in Korea, it is critical for us to have a strong partnership with a respected company like SK Telecom to push the technology forward."

Xbox Project xCloud Preview is now live in the US, UK, and Korea, while Xbox Console Streaming, leveraging at-home Xbox hardware, is now available in all Xbox-supported countries.

Xbox Game Streaming