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ZeniMax's 'Orion,' and how it will boost Microsoft's Xbox xCloud streaming tech

Bethesda Orion
Bethesda Orion (Image credit: Bethesda)

Microsoft shook the industry this week when it revealed its $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media, which gives it the rights to legendary IP like The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Fallout, and all of the talented studios known for making these epic, lasting experiences. One of the biggest criticisms of Xbox since practically forever has been the quality of its internal portfolio, which leaned incredibly heavily on Halo as its primary exclusive offering. With ZeniMax under its belt, that narrative is well and truly shattered — but there's another vastly important aspect to this acquisition that is being overlooked.

At its 2019 E3 showcase, Bethesda revealed Orion, its patented cloud streaming SDK, which it says its easy to integrate into existing games. Bethesda claims Orion allows games to run at "max settings" with minimal bandwidth usage, even if you live far away from a data center. To demonstrate these claims, Bethesda and id Software who are leading development of this SDK, demonstrated DOOM 2016 at 4K 60 frames per second, running on a smartphone. We've uploaded the presentation clip so you can take a look below.

ZeniMax has several job listings related to the Orion SDK on its website, and has a public test offering on its website as well, although it's unclear if the closed tests are still open to new users.

Microsoft's own streaming tech Project xCloud is potent in of its own right, but it only streams at 720p, up to 30 FPS, and even then, most of the time you can feel the latency. While this makes it perfectly usable for turn-based experiences and games that don't require pinpoint precision, like brawlers maybe, 3D shooters do suffer a fair bit unless you're in absolutely optimal conditions.

This could be a shot of adrenaline Project xCloud needs

Some of the biggest barriers to xCloud isn't necessarily the speed of your network, but the conditions too, namely 5GHz WiFi, or high-quality 5G (with a compatible smartphone). Bethesda's Orion demo showcases DOOM 2016 running at 4K, with 60 frames per second, with "no perceptible latency," which is most likely the ideal end-goal of Microsoft's xCloud tech for Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming.

If it truly works as Bethesda describes, this could be a shot of adrenaline Project xCloud needs to propel the user experience into meetings Xbox lead Phil Spencer's vision of "console-quality" game streaming. The patents associated with this technology and the sole rights to distribution to the SDK will give Microsoft's xCloud another big leap over Google Stadia.

Source: Bethesda (Image credit: Source: Bethesda)

Stadia is struggling to catch up on the basics right now — namely content — even if they have the technology and server infrastructure down. The acquisition shows that Microsoft isn't complacent to the idea that one day, Google or one of Microsoft's other competitors could pull ahead in this space.

It all just further slams home that ZeniMax was a perfect acquisition for Microsoft, with almost every aspect of the operation fitting nicely into Microsoft's wider goals for its gaming division in 2021 and beyond. You can try Project xCloud gaming for yourself right now on an Android device, with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Thanks for the tip Rekenber and thanks to YaBoyTwiz!

Xbox Game Streaming

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Jez Corden
Jez Corden

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!

34 Comments
  • Huh. This sounds huge, actually. How come no one except that Rekenber and YaBoyTwiz brought this up at all yesterday? I mean, not even Microsoft mentioned it in their press release, but that sounds like a big selling point.
  • yeah, i totally forgot about it from bethesda's show. if the tech actually works as they describe, could be a real big deal for xcloud. they're still hiring engineers for the project.
  • The two things I thought about when I heard about ZeniMax acquisition was first thinking next-gen is going to an exciting ride to be on Xbox and second what will MS do with Orion. I remember this conference and thought back in 2019 this would be a great integration into MS game development platform at the software level to enhance XCloud at the hardware level. I just hope Microsoft takes advantage of the tech.
  • I remember this and wondered if they were trying to do this as a step towards competing with xCloud in the future. I guess not.
  • Game streaming is a loser product/service to copy, if you are going to copy something... you don't copy something that is an inferior product. Game streaming has been around for 10+ years and it will continue to lose money for companies investing in it. The only future Microsoft has in video games is as a traditional video game publisher, I guess by buying what they could never make or produce. "Stadia is struggling to catch up on the basics right now — namely content — even if they have the technology and server infrastructure down. " I strongly disagree with this, Stadia is struggling just like the rest over the last 10 years... there is no demand for game streaming and for obvious reasons. Things like music streaming had demand so to a degree Groove as a competitor made sense, this is like copying a product nobody wants. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGdecNDDr9g
    (Copying products that have been around well over a decade, why copy products that have no customers?)
  • It's a good thing, then, that MS doesn't charge for xcloud, so it's not a product but a free feature for Gamepass.
    Microsoft has a history of launching tech that requires more tech than commonly available. Hardware eventually catches up or they get tired of waiting.
    Nadella is more patient than Ballmer, though, so the odds are goods they'll keep evolving xcloud until the infrastructure catches up with the software needs.
    Don't forget, MS typically needs three versions of a product to get it right. ;)
  • If you need a subscription to use it than yes they are charging for it. Now there are plenty of game streaming products/services that don't charge if you are using your own equipment. As far as building game streaming services as the way to play games and charging for it is completely idiotic imo. There just is no demand for it. "Don't forget, MS typically needs three versions of a product to get it right. " This has nothing to do with Microsoft, there is no demand for game streaming as a charge service. Its like making a Cheetah trap for the masses... the vast majority of people have no use for a Cheetah trap. I disagree with the author completely, the main problem with Microsoft is they are just not very good at consumer based products/services, which is why there are virtually none left. You can't change a Cheetah's strip/spot pattern.
  • There’s no point debating on a hater troll but the truth is that if someone has the right vision for game streaming it’s Phil. He has acknowledged several times that game streaming will never give replace the native experience but it will act as an additional feature. Since you are only charged in gamepass for a huge game library and Day 1 releases ( as opposed to something like Stadia which can never really come close to Xbox in gaming industry position), Xcloud comes as an additional perk/feature. Also if you any idea of computer network science
    , you will know that local streaming can never ever match the networking performance of something like Azure Datacentre which literally owns petabytes of bandwidth and will provide way way more stable and superior gaming experience while streaming from a 4G mobile device outdoors. So whatever point you are trying to make, you just can’t make any real sense whatsoever ACCEPT IT.
  • I guess you can call the whole world a troll as nobody is asking for game streaming. There is no right vision for game streaming, its a horrible replacement for native playing. If someone wants to stream from their own equipment for no costs for a limited time or in a pinch there is nothing wrong with that. Its simply not a selling point for a service as the author is implying. What is "network science", do you meaning networking and science? If you mean streaming locally that will generally always be better as you usually only one hop from device to device, when you go to a datacenter you are going to encounter many more hopes + speed of light issues. I don't know what point you are trying to make as what you are saying sounds like marketing that doesn't even make sense. There simply is no demand for game streaming because well its game streaming... ACCEPT IT or not, it doesn't matter to me. There are other technical parts of the article that doesn't make sense to me as well.... for instance. "Microsoft's own streaming tech Project xCloud is potent in of its own right, but it only streams at 720p, up to 30 FPS, and even then, most of the time you can feel the latency." The basis of the article is that somehow zenimax has some type of technology that allows them to stream at greater then 720p. Most likely this is a restriction on the limitations of the Xbox One blades they are using. For instance for PS Now, its also limited to 720p because Sony is using rack mounted PS4s for the streaming, which have limitation of 720p for streaming even via Remote Play. A PS 4 Pro for instance can translate 1080p via PS Remote Play. Basically, Microsoft will have to either virtualized the Xbox hardware or replace the existing Xbox One blades being used for xCloud to increase resolution. I'm really confused by the author's comments about "feel latency", that's game streaming i.e. number of hops + speed of light - there is no way to avoid that. So the point becomes why did Microsoft invest a technology/model that has repeatedly failed and nobody wants it? I'm a Debbie Downer as far as MS consumer products/services because they usually have no idea what they are doing... case in point, following the rest way late to market (game streaming) that the market has already said they don't want.
  • I want game streaming. So now your argument is null and void. Also 15+ years ago:
    No on wants movies on their phones the screens are too small and the colours are bad!?!? Why are people investing in video compression, mobile networks will never be fast enough to stream video!! Why are people investing in VR the headsets are large and uncomfortable with terrible resolutions?!?! Why are people wasting money on electric cars, batteries are too expensive, you can't drive very far and there are no charging stations?!?! The point is sometimes the true value of investment in technology may not always be obvious at the time. Sometimes it won't result in a successful product, but even if it fails it may lead to unexpected consequences and advances elsewhere. Look at the technologies that came from sending people into space. I'm sure there were many people complaining about the waste of money and resources on such a pointless endeavour that 'no one' asked for. Also with regards to xcloud being a free addition to gamepass. I was paying for the subscription, they added xcloud for no extra cost, therefore it is a free addition. Now if someone were to sign-up today specifically for a beta product, then they can always cancel if it doesn't meet their expectations. There is absolutely nothing bad here for consumers.
  • "I want game streaming. So now your argument is null and void. " No, that means you don't really engage in reasonable discussion. When someone says some thing like "nobody" in this context that means enough customers to keep a product or service going say like Groove Music, Microsoft Band, Xbox Kinect, Games for Windows Live, soon Cortana, Win RT, etc. Please read comments in context or there can be no reasonable discussion. "No on wants movies on their phones the screens are too small and the colours are bad!?!?" That was generally a hardware limitation, game streaming has issues that can never be resolved. "Why are people investing in video compression, mobile networks will never be fast enough to stream video!!" Not sure what this means, I've been able to stream via mobile for about 10 years.... but again a technology issue that could be solved over time. Game streaming has limitations which can't be solved i.e. Law of the Universe. "Why are people wasting money on electric cars, batteries are too expensive, you can't drive very far and there are no charging stations?!?!" Government handouts. LOL "Sometimes it won't result in a successful product, but even if it fails it may lead to unexpected consequences and advances elsewhere. " There is no unexpected consequence or advancement anywhere because of game streaming, its actually a very mature tech... heck you could game stream 14 years ago on a PS3 in limited testing. Nothing new. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F142oPTIXeU
  • Cool so when you say 'no one' you mean you. Because you seem to be in the minority on this site and most other sites that I read. There are many that may doubt game streaming will work, but very few that don't want it to exist. There seems to be a whole lot of investment into game streaming at the moment, didn't Amazon just announce Lunar (sp?)? Let's take a moment to consider some groups of people that may want game streaming and why. - People that don't want to or can't afford to continually purchase new hardware in order to play the latest games. Bringing gaming to a broader audience by removing barriers to entry. That seems to align nicely with MS's recent All Access offering. - Platform holders - The business model behind console hardware is more often than not loss leading or low to zero margins. The money is in the peripherals, software and services. - Anyone thinking about it from an environmental perspective. Reducing the need to mass produce lumps of plastic, silicon and other highly sort after materials. - Game developers that want to have greater freedom to develop the game they want without being constrained by legacy hardware or platform generation cycles. - Gamers, developers and platform holders that are seeking a solution to the issue of the increasing size of games and the cost of fast speed storage. - Gamers that want to travel light without the need for relatively expensive portable gaming devices. When they pack their Switch they still need a mobile and laptop for calls and work/productivity. Being able to game stream on a Surface Go 2 takes away the need for a third device. That's just off the top of my head, I'm sure there's probably more. Now I'm not saying it's an idyllic future by any means. A game streaming only service has all the drawbacks of going fully digital when it comes to what you purchase and or own. Your stance on Gamepass is really strange. No one is trying to convince themselves that the service is free. It is just a fact it now has way more content and includes more services than it did when we started paying for it. Xbox Live Gold + Console Gamespass + PC Gamespass + xcloud beta + EA Play (all but xcloud were once individual subscriptions) This will now also include content from Zenimax Media/Bethesda, which is cool. That represents a lot of value to me and I can still buy physical copies of games if I want to add them to my collection. Ok now for the things abandoned by MS. In most cases they were dropped because there was a dominant competitor in the market and not due to a failure of that market segment. - The Band was only ever pitched by MS as a test product, it was well documented on this site. We still have fitbits, Galaxy and Apple watches. - Kinect was dropped as it made the xbox too expensive compared to PS4 not because people no longer wanted to use voice commands, web cams, facial recognition software/hardware or motion based sensors in games (Nintendo Switch uses controller based sensors, the PS4 and 5 still have a camera with sensors, VR headsets also kinda made the Kinect redundant). - Windows RT failed because it could not compete with iPad/Samsung/Android tablets, not because people no longer wanted tablets. - Cortana lost out to Google Home, Alexa and Siri, it's not like we don't have smart devices linked to AI with verbal controls. MS, Google, Nvidia and Amazon are currently all competing on game streaming and making significant investments into infrastructure and software. Each of those companies has a list of products and services that have failed. They also have a whole bunch that gained traction, became part of our daily lives and made them a ton of money in the process. So you can keep listing all the things you think they can't overcome, like they aren't aware of the existing limitations. I for one will happily test what's been added to my existing services for no extra cost and look forward to whatever innovations fall out of these products and services. Oh and if they totally suck I'll not use them. Pretty simple really.
  • "Cool so when you say 'no one' you mean you." No, the masses or even any viable customer base, this is like talking to a 8 year old having a tantrum i.e. context. The fact is game streaming is failed product service for about 10+ year, with no real customers asking for it. The customer isn't wrong. <---- As for the rest of your tantrum, I'm a debbie down on MS purely consumer products/services for a reason... they suck or bail, not much else left that I am aware of... gaming, technically they still have access to movies, and skype (if you even know anyone that even uses that). "MS, Google, Nvidia and Amazon are currently all competing on game streaming and making significant investments into infrastructure and software." Actually there are more than that Sony, Shadow, etc., too many to name, matter of fact most of the large publishers are working on their own tech. So? No customers, the reason why no customers... well, that is obvious. "Ok now for the things abandoned by MS. In most cases they were dropped because there was a dominant competitor in the market and not due to a failure of that market segment." They can't compete, in many cases Microsoft was there in the market before the others i.e. mobile, music stream, voice assistants, etc. The reason why Google and Apple dominate isn't because they were in the market first, far from it. Spotify was just starting as a company when MS was heavily engaged in Zune Music, Cortana was probably the best and VA back in wm8. An exception would be Games for Windows Live, Steam had already existed for about 4 years... so what does MS do... instead of competing, they shut it down and shaft all the users and developers using to release yet another software store i.e. the stupid MS Store. Game streaming is loser product generally speaking, let alone Microsoft's success in the consumer market is basically nothing at this point... there really isn't anything left. I would say most of what I am writing is basically factual at this point.... if you like MS for business applications, or office applications or need virtualized server service than MS can compete... everything absolute failures on every level of the consumer market.
  • Um I'm not emotionally invested in any of this. I just find it odd that you have posted the same stuff on every article that mentions xcloud and decided to provide an alternative perspective. That is all. Sit back take a breath and remember none of this is important. I see advantages to game streaming. I expect trillion dollar companies to push some boundaries in an attempt to beat the other to a potential new market. I lose nothing if they all fail horribly. Nothing whatsoever. If they succeed I could have a new low cost way of accessing and playing games wherever I want. Trust me I have young children and have seen many a tantrum and they are far less coherent than any of the above. I just don't agree with your position that nobody wants it and that it can't be done. From most of what I've read to date Stadia already works and xcloud ain't too far behind. Demand can be driven with the right incentives.
  • But you agree when Microsoft left the aforementioned markets it was due to their failure to compete, not due to a failure of that market segment. Knowing when to exit market is a smart business practice. Yeah it sucks if you're a fan/user of the product, but sending good money after bad is a sure fire way to kill your business. Microsoft like any large company is always looking for ways to build and diversify their revenue streams. That means testing new product categories some succeed most won't. I'd say the Surface category has to be seen as a successful one. Jury is out on the new Duo, Neo or Windows X. You'd have to view Xbox as a successful product category and Gamepass is a definitive success.
  • Three points: - Gamepass Ultimate cost $15 before adding xcloud.After adding it, it still cost $15.That says it's free. During the holidays they're adding the EA PLAY games. Price! $15
    That too will be free. - Xcloud servers run on Anaconda chips, not Scorpio chips. They each serve out *four* One S sessions for now because the last mile infrastructure can't be counted on to support a full nextgen session. That will change. - Nobody wants game streaming? Well GOOGLE thinks somebody wants it. Enoigh to spend big bucks. NVIDIA thinks somebody wants it. AMAZON thinks somebody wants it enough to create LUNA and LUNA Plus. UBISOFT thinks somebody wants it enough to create a UBISOFT-only channel to feature all their back catalog and day-and-date all new games, starting with the new unreleased ASSASSIN'S CREED. Oh, and APPLE thinks enough people want it they changed their appstore rules to make it unfeasible for anybody to use it to compete with their iOS game subscriptions. That's a lot of companies whose business is to *know* who might want it.
    They're all betting their wallets.
    I think I'll trust them.
  • "- Gamepass Ultimate cost $15 before adding xcloud.After adding it, it still cost $15.That says it's free. During the holidays they're adding the EA PLAY games. Price! $15
    That too will be free." That doesn't mean its free, that is you trying to convince yourselft its free. Free means without obligation (generally speaking), and you are obligated to pay for something before you get something to use xCloud.... that's not free. "Well GOOGLE thinks somebody wants it. " So? No real demand, Stadia is pretty much dead with the rest of them... lack of demand. Here are some other companies that thought there would be demand: - OnLive
    - Gaikai
    - Sony
    - Nvidia
    - Crytek
    - GameFly
    - Google
    - LiquidSky There were all wrong. Heck, I was a beta tester about a decade ago with OnLive and a beta tester for PS Now in 2014. Its okay in a pinch, but most people aren't going to be interested in it for obvious reasons. My main point was the author is confused by game streaming technology, if he believes that game streaming is magically going to get better by an acquisitions than he doesn't understand technology. Since game streaming is very mature you would think a tech site would know about the limitations a decade ago let alone in 2020.
  • Ah, I see your point.
    Streaming has never replace local gaming and it never will so there will never be a market.
    See, that's where MS disagrees: they think xcloud will find a home in mobile. Because it ties to Gamepass on Xbox and PC and they all share common saves it would let people start on local hardwade, continue on mobile for a while, and go back to base.
    It's not about *replacing* local baming at all but about keeping the gamer in the ecosystem. Different objective.
    They already have local gaming covered so they don't need or want to replace it. They want to extend it. Gamepass is a money printing machine so it would be stupid to undercut it but enhancing is very smart. It's like tbe SWITCH but where SWITCH requires you carry the dedicated gadget, the MS solution only requires whatever phone or tablet you csrry anyway.
    That's why they haven't released a client for PC or browser though they have both.
    People have for years been asking for a mobile XBOX, well; that's the xcloud market. They don't charge for it because it's judt a part of Gamepass.
    It will probably be largest in Japan and Korea; they have better last mike infrastructure and a bigger mobile gaming culture.
  • Google Stadia's lack of success is due to a lack of content, combined with people being reluctant to repurchase games they've already bought on other platforms. Not because the tech doesn't work. There was a whole bunch of initial interest. If Google could package something on par with Gamepass in with Stadia it may be a very different story. When we talk if gamers we're talking about 100s of millions with a console and/or PC with a decent graphics card. MS, Google and Amazon are thinking about getting on every TV, Laptop, Tablet and Mobile phone and getting to anyone that subscribes to services such as Netflix, Prime and Disney+. That's a market of billions.
  • "That's a market of billions." Just because you can technically have access to billions, doesn't mean billions or millions or even thousands will buy what you are saying. I could put a fish aquarium app on TVs, so ******* what, doesn't mean I'm going to be a billionaire for it.... you need paying customers.. Nobody is asking for game streaming, you need accept that. Sony has had PS Now in various forms for 6 years, nobody cares.
  • What are you basing this nobody on?
    I gave you a bunch of examples above on where game streaming makes sense from a consumer, developer and business model perspective. If it's not driven by a potential market/demand then why are the three biggest cloud based service companies in the world choosing 2020 to go head to head in game streaming services? Have they convinced their investors that they need to burn some money to avoid tax? Once again no one wanted to watch videos on their phone until they did. No one wanted smart devices until they did. No one wanted to pay for their coffee by their mobile phone until they did. No one wanted Facetime/video calls until they did. Bet there were a bunch of businesses that never knew they needed/wanted social media that now couldn't operate without them. All it took was the convergence of investment, technology, convenience, affordability and an intuitive product matched with consistent messaging and a whole bunch of marketing. Good luck with your aquarium application.
  • Oh and Sony may have had PS Now for 6 years, but they've done nothing with it because they lack the capital, infrastructure and capability to build upon it. I think it was only in the last two years where they entered into an agreement with MS to move their online/cloud services onto Azure. The cloud is not Sony's core business, it is for MS, Google and Amazon.
  • Xcloud power is not in its cloud streaming power it is in the business model and how it treats the consumer. 1. Xcloud = Xbox on cloud 2. Devs don't have to code for it specifically. All existing xbox games are compatible including the one which are backwards compatible. If any game is backwards compatible on Xbox One S(the current server blades MS uses) is compatible with xcloud. This is big deal as I don't want to download 10 year old games with terrible visuals on my latest gen hardware, but I love those games and will play probably only via Xcloud as those games are not that high visual fidelity to demand super high speed internet connection. Cloud gaming is about "convenience" rather than "extra utility/platform" to play on. You pay the highest tier of game pass you get the privilege of little extra convenience. Simple. To anybody who thinks xcloud is free, No it is not free. That $15/month you pay includes the running cost for xcloud too. 😂 Nothing is free. It was only free at beta stage. 3. game library is bigger than Game pass. You are overlooking this key factor. This open library is "not available yet" as of this nascent stage in xcloud that doesn't mean it won't be or incompatible. 4. If I purchase a game on Xbox even outside the game pass that game will be available to play in my library on xcloud too that too for without any extra purchase. That is a ******* big deal and playing more than 2 year old title releases becomes even more common use case as the users and games increase. For now xcloud is restricted to game pass games only but that's not the whole business model here. Business model will transform into similar to google Stadia just much better. No gamer will buy games for "only" cloud gaming use. That's the truth. That's what you want to say as far as I can understand. That's true. But saying it won't be successful is wrong argument as at least one company is making strides in that department already. A product success depends as much as on business model as it does on its actual quality. Quality will increase over time as the internet speeds and fiber connection becomes cheaper and cheaper. If it is not becoming cheaper in a particular nation I guess there is something inherently wrong with the whole fair competition there. Here my country broadband is getting cheaper and cheaper obviously not it is not going below a certain price point but speeds and data cap continues to rise for the same price. I am paying the same as I paid in 2016 for 5mbps 25GB cap connection. But now it is 75mbps truly unlimited (virtual cap is around 2500GB). That's the development I'm talking about. If you live in the USA and Canada obviously you can't see jumps in service quality this much as there is more cartel system between ISPs rather than competition. Again Canada and USA is not the whole world. 😂 Xcloud is much better in other nations where internet is "actually" getting better. I'm talking about broadband or fiber based connection. Your wireless mobile data won't be good for cloud gaming anytime soon. 😂 5. Number of users on Xcloud to incentivise devs to release even larger open world title even if it takes large spaces like 400Gigs they now can do that instead of limiting themselves to reasonable download size. Some points might sound like I'm speculating things because you haven't heard anyone making the same arguments even on Fan websites like windows central. But I'm not. Just watch the xcloud game streaming first announcement event where they just merely introduced xcloud to the public. They have said all those things there.
  • Hey daisy chain calm down man. 😂 Your only argument that is decent is "game streaming will never be as good as actual offline play"
    Yes you're right here.
    But if you say it doesn't make sense to invest in it is BS at best. Ti makes a lot of sense to invest in it as the game sizes and the open world in games is becoming massive. TBH I would very much like to play using the whole 2 petabytes of map data fully online stream in Flight Sim 2020. But I can't because in this game it has nothing to do with "latency limitation" it has to do with existing internet infrastructure and server infra. If you are saying that those 2 won't improve further then you are really dumb. I can get 1 gbps fiber connection to my home. It was not available just 2 years ago but now I have about 7 providers for that at dead cheap prices. If your country doesn't have that not my problem, because that's the market structure few countries have. For example US and Canada are the worst in this department too much compartmentalization in ISPs territories in order to avoid competition. There are games that I want to play occasionally on the cloud or want to enjoy on my tablet when I don't like playing on my Xbox or PC. Cloud gaming is there to exist in conjunction with offline play not to replace it. There are plenty of scenarios where it will be successful if done right. So far MS is doing it right. Scenario 1: As the next gen games are released I will play them all offline despite the download waiting times etc because I want the first experience to be the best of the best. I want to experience the absolute beauty of the game. But as time passes lets say after 4 years I want to play the same game I would not want to wait for 100GB to download again. That would be nuts. I just want to play it casually little by little daily maybe on the go or maybe on my tablet. Remember those experiences of tablet, TVs, internet, etc will improve over time. Take an example of GTA 5. Do I really want to play GTA5 on my Xbox Series X in 2020? Hell no. That game is not even worth installing on xbox series x I would much rather install something current year or maybe last year title as it "does" make difference in visual fidelity on Xbox Series x. GTA 5 has exhausted its capacity in visual fidelity to improve anymore no matter how powerful hardware you give it. But I like the game it also doesn't need cutting edge low latency for good experience. I will play this game via cloud gaming rather than physical install. It saves my time and unnecessary effort. Because remember cloud gaming will improve much faster on the server side than your avg internet latency and speeds and its availability in your local area. That's why MS way of giving cloud streaming is the best and sustainable too. Just give them cloud streaming in the highest end game pass sub. MS is treating cloud streaming as "convenience" rather than utility. You pay rhe highest paid plan you get the privilege. Simple. Another example I will give you is apple's recently announced Apple One subscription. That service has 3 plans Individual, family, premier.
    First 2 gives your 200GB of iCloud that is a joke TBH. And premier plan includes family plans as well provides a whopping 2TB of space. 😂
    This is what privilege feels like. That's what cloud gaming is. You're right on the argument that in its current form nobody will pay dedicated subscriptions for cloud streaming services. That's the reason It was unsuccessful for the past 10+ years. And why Google is loosing money on Stadia. Stadia can be extremely successful if they provide an offline way to play the games purchased on Stadia. Otherwise no one wants to buy games "only" for cloud gaming without any offline playing access.
  • "Hey daisy chain calm down man. "
    LOL
    Oh I'm okay, just getting my daily laugh from the dozen people that think Microsoft can still compete in the consumer market, well, really only one left now. "Because remember cloud gaming will improve much faster on the server side than your avg internet latency and speeds and its availability in your local area. That's why MS way of giving cloud streaming is the best and sustainable too." Not sure what this means, cloud gaming works basically the same way it did in 2006. It can't get faster, not sure what that even means.... the video is compressed, sent to the user, and decompressed and input controls are sent to host. Most of the latency is cause not by compression or decompression as those are only a fraction of the latency. The packets must travel from point A to B, which is number of internet hops and speed of light limitations. You are confused as to what "speed" is, bandwidth can larger in theory but latency on the internet isn't much different overall than what it was 20 years ago. You can tell this out by testing ping packet to all the major cloud providers gate, for instance... my ping to Azure or Google or Amazon on the East coast has always been around 40-120ms. It was like that 5 years ago and its like that today. Bandwidth on the internet continues to expand, but that isn't the issue. Time sensitive applications like gaming are not a good candidate or streaming or virtualization. Something like Windows Virtualized Desktops are fine though for business usage i.e. office application as its not time sensitive to ms. Its not an argument, its a fact.
  • Are you crazy or just really dumb? I have mentioned the scenario as I don't need your so called unrealistic level of latency to play GTA 5 the genre of the game is as so that I don't care if latency is little worse. My latency is less than 100ms on my fiber connection.
    You are really bad with market analysis. You are judging latency of 2006 era by 2020. How bad of an analyst you have to be to do that. Let me remind you you didn't even had even the 1/10000th of internet usage as it is now. Latency has improved since then it is just not there yet for cloud gaming purposes. 3G came in 2008, 4G in 2012 5G is not even here yet. Guess what your so called 14 years is not very long time. People like you are just impatient. 16 years is nothing when you are talking about internet terms the user base wasn't there for companies like MS, amazon to invest in even more close datacenters but now they so have. Your argument of latency improvements is so much flawed now there are more and more data centres. Yes there is physical limitation of how fast light is. But you are just ignorant ***** if you think MS, Amazon, Google aren't just going to setup small datacenters in every 150-200km local area to decrease that latency of yours. Ofcourse it won't happen overnight might take another 5-7 years to get there. Unless you are 80+ years old I think you will be able to take advantage of that. Don't worry. You are just being ignorant of all the technology advancement. Take an example here let's say your internet latency in 2006 was 200ms which was extremely bad for cloud gaming.
    2020 improvement in infra has decreased this to ~120ms lucky ones will get
  • 1. Microsoft has already showed Series X server blades earlier this year (with custom encoder more powerful than all the Jaguar cores) which will be used from next year. So shut up about 720p.
    2. Remote play streaming is now available on Android and iOS(beta). https://www.purexbox.com/news/2020/09/xbox_adds_remote_play_to_new_mobil...
    So STFU hater!
  • What does any of that have to do with what I said? Matter of fact, I pointed out what you said in #1 already. LOL Microsoft is limited by the power of the Xbox hardware they have in racks. Which is contradictory to the author, which what I was pointing out. Thanks for agreeing. LOL We are living in Idiocracy, I have no idea if anything is sarcasm anymore. LOL All of this is pretty much old news and old tech i.e. game streaming... been around literally a decade and half, ****, PS users have been using it from their devices in limited beta since 2006 and everyone has it in their PS since 2013. Nothing new, the limitations have nothing to do with what the author is saying.
  • You do have some great insight about the topic. Your posts are very trollish in nature. There's a demographic for these cloud services, even though I will likely never use it like you. I can totally see where it would be very helpful, e.g. a family where the parents tie up the TV doing something of their own and one of their children wants to play their game can do it on another device, while it may not be optimal, it is good enough in some circumstances.
  • Oh, I was surprised see Stadia mentioned ... I figured it had been cancelled already since no one is talking about it.
  • Stadia is probably the worse of the bunch, as you're buying games on a platform that you might not even be able to extract the games if they close up. Kind of like a Microsoft Games for Windows Live, although some publishers for GFWL were able to patch out the client and make it available from other stores.
  • Not yet.
    Google lets their non-ad ventures languish a couple years before mercy killing them.
    By then people have forgotten it ever existed.
    Stadia has a way to go.
  • There's a SDK? So it's not JUST streaming? Tech similar to kahawai (delta mode and i-frame mode) I guess?
  • It's an SDK to patch the game for streaming.
    It sounds like it lets the game stream itself instead of running in a virtual machine that streams it.
    Lower overhead, lower lag.