THE boss of Xbox has sent a reassuring email to staff left shellshocked by Google’s announcement of its own gaming platform, Stadia.
The new streaming service is similar to one Microsoft already has planned, but looks to be more ambitious and will run on more powerful hardware.
Google demonstrating Assassin’s Creed being played on a phone using Stadia
In an email seen by Microsoft blog Thurrott, Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer, he told staff that Google’s revelations contained “no big surprises” and claimed their announcement was “validation of the path we embarked on two years ago.”
He suggested Google’s presentation of streaming technology with integrated social features alongside the launch of their own studio mirrored Microsoft’s own “Content, Community and Cloud”.
Encouraging worried staff to just keep their heads down and work on the future of Xbox he said “we have the content, community, cloud team and strategy, and as I’ve been saying for a while, it’s all about execution.”
He pointed out that were only a couple of months to go until E3, the year’s biggest biggest gaming show where Microsoft has promised to reveal much more about its future plans, adding the company planned to “go big” in response to Google doing the same.
The demo on Microsoft’s relaunched Inside Xbox show had Forza Horizon 4 being played on a Galaxy S9 plus, using project xCloud
EPA Phil Spencer launched the Xbox One X at E3 in 2017
Microsoft’s own xCloud service runs on Xbox One X hardware modified to run in a data centre, with the promise that it will let users play Xbox games on any device with a screen and an internet connection.
The Xbox One X is the most powerful home console available, but it is now two years old.
The platform for Google’s Stadia, however, is brand new, and 60 per cent faster than the Xbox One X.
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Google has also promised features Microsoft doesn’t yet have, and potentially can’t ever offer.
These include deep integration with YouTube, which Google owns, as well as multiplayer features that only work if the games only run in the data centres themselves and not locally.
That poses a problem for Microsoft whose Mixer streaming service has struggled to match the reach of other gaming video services, and who have based their system of existing hardware and presumably plan to continue letting gamers play on their own consoles.
Meanwhile, Google has promised more information at some point “this summer”, potentially ready to spoil whatever Microsoft reveals at E3 with another salvo of its own.
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Google Stadia launches games in seconds, whatever device you’re on