Microsoft Vs. Sony: Xbox cloud gaming to launch tomorrow

Microsoft is set to launch its Xbox cloud gaming service tomorrow across 22 countries, including the US, Canada, South Korea and more in Europe.

With the promise to empower gaming anywhere on any device, the new service is a major drive to attract less competitive, casual gamers.

Low latency up in the air

Content is king for gaming, which is why a games library is key for cloud gaming success.  Subscribers will be able to play more than 150 games, including hit titles like “Sea of Thieves” and “Gears 5” via the cloud on Xbox consoles, Android (not Apple) devices and PCs. 

But with the games running completely on the cloud, it will be crucial to have digital infrastructures that ensure fast Internet connections, low latency and lag for the best user experience.

“We built this experience so that it requires as little bandwidth as possible,” said Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft’s Head of Cloud Gaming. 

Microsoft is working with Internet Service Providers around the world to ensure strong connectivity between gamers through their Azure data centers.

In South Korea, Microsoft partnered with SK Telecom to enable the cloud gaming technology through their leading 5G technology, which is predicted to be a significant driver in speeding up cloud gaming adoption – even Globe Telecom in the Philippines is getting in on the action by successfully testing their 5G technology for cloud gaming.

Analysts are expecting demand for immersive experiences through better sound and graphics to drive sales of next-generation consoles released by Microsoft and Sony this year, which are predicted to be released in time for the highly competitive Christmas period.

According to Guilherme Fernandes, an Analyst at gaming analysis firm Newzoo, Cloud gaming revenue is expected to grow to $4.8 billion by 2023, with nearly $600 million this year.

Sony already provides a cloud gaming service on Playstation Now, but this is not yet available on mobile devices.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many into their homes, leading to a huge uptake in gaming to pass the time, Microsoft is banking on offering users many ways to play through the cloud service and consoles at different price points to give it an edge.

The Xbox Game Pass service currently has more than 10 million members. More countries are slated to get the Xbox cloud gaming service at a later date, though specific details have not been given at this time.

Got a story, opinion or more information on this article? Contact us at editor@w.media.
And get the latest updates by signing up to the W.Media Newsletter!

How will cloud gaming impact the future of game design?

As we discovered in W.Media’s first GameTech digital event, our speakers from Tencent Cloud and OVHcloud revealed the critical importance of IT infrastructure and edge data centers in enabling a cloud gaming future with almost zero latency and lag.

In our next GameTech digital event on Tuesday 27 October, we will focus on how cloud infrastructures and cloud gaming will transform the way games are designed.

Register now to explore how we can work together to create your next favourite game on the cloud!

Get involved in the conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Globe 5G makes cloud gaming breakthrough in the Philippines

Globe Telecom has made a successful breakthrough in cloud gaming tests using its highly anticipated 5G mobile network.

In partnership with multi-cloud digital innovations company, Apper.ph, the tests explored the possibility of enabling gamers to play high-performance games without needing a console or high-powered computer.

“The continuous roll out of Globe 5G will not only change the way we play our favorite games, but this is also a leap to a lot of other possibilities that this technology can bring,” said Coco Domingo, Globe’s Vice President for Strategic Platforms and Partnerships.

Globe’s ultra fast 5G technology was married with cloud technology to successfully test BANDAI NAMCO’s Tekken 7 with substantially low latency and close to zero lag.

The qualities of zero lag and latency are highly sought after by players and cloud gaming providers, as any reduction in performance could lead to losing a game and a poor user experience.

Dr. Thomas King, the Chief Technology Officer at the global Internet Exchange operator, DE-CIX, said: “Considering the increasingly realistic looking graphics of current games, it is clear that enormous amounts of data have to be transported from the server to the output medium.”

When gaming takes place wholly in the cloud, it is essential that latency is kept to a minimum to ensure that services succeed with the user, especially when every millisecond counts, said Dr. King.

To achieve this, technologies like 5G and edge computing are adopted to make sure that data is processed and transported as closely to the gamers as possible.

Globe became the first mobile operator in Southeast Asia to introduce a commercially available 5G network with AirFiber in 2019 and introduced Globe 5G to customers in February 2020 with the launch of the first mobile device in The Philippines.

Earlier this year, Globe expanded their cloud portfolio with a US$4 million investment to acquire ‘substantially all assets’ of US-based premier AWS partner Cascadeo.

How will cloud gaming impact the future of game design?

As we discovered in W.Media’s first GameTech digital event, our speakers from Tencent Cloud and OVHcloud revealed the critical importance of IT infrastructure, 5G and edge data centers in enabling a cloud gaming future with almost zero latency and lag.

In our next GameTech digital event on Tuesday 27 October, we will focus on how cloud infrastructures and cloud gaming will transform the way games are designed.

Register now to explore how we can work together to create your next favourite game on the cloud!

Get involved in the conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Globe 5G makes cloud gaming breakthrough in the Philippines

Author

[image_with_animation image_url=”9410″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”]

Stuart Crowley

Editor, W.Media

editor@w.media

Receive the Latest News

Latest News

[recent_posts style=”default” category=”all” columns=”1″ order=”DESC” orderby=”date” posts_per_page=”4″ post_offset=”1″]

[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”1066″]

Asia’s $3bn Cloud Gaming opportunity needs strong IT infrastructure and edge data centers to become a reality

Cloud gaming is a US$3 billion opportunity for Asia, but for the game streaming technology to take off, it needs strong and reliable IT infrastructure like edge data centers to become a reality.

This is what we discovered during our first GameTech digital event with experts from Tencent, OVHcloud and Nazara Technologies.

“Asia is a very interesting continent where you have established and evolved games, to very young, casual or first-time gamers. That makes it very exciting,” said Manish Agarwal, the CEO of Nazara Technologies.

Tech giants like Google, Amazon, Alibaba Cloud and Tencent are looking to take on established players in the gaming industry such as Microsoft, Sony, EA and NVIDIA as well as cloud gaming pioneers Vortex, LiquidSky, Parsec and Shadow.

“The beauty of a lot of these countries in Asia is they have no preconceived baggage of what gaming should be. The adoption of the new age technologies is going to be super fast, because what gaming offers is a pure, uninhibited, unhindered interactive entertainment,” added Mr. Agarwal.

However, for cloud gaming to be affordable by providers, it is important to reduce friction of price points, lag and latency, processing and optimising infrastructure.

“Asia is a very value conscious market. Cloud gaming is poised for the big boys who have very, very deep pockets because it entails building technology infrastructure, consumer acquisition retention and content acquisition,” said Mr. Agarwal.

The critical importance of reliable IT infrastructure and edge data centers for cloud gaming

To ensure a successful cloud gaming future, strong and reliable IT infrastructure is of critical importance to ensure low latency and lag, which is absolutely necessary for gamers who need a seamless experience.

As a result, user experience depends on the last mile speed, meaning that the end user needs to connect to its nearest location with high speed connections.

Davy Wang, the Chief Solutions Architect of Tencent Cloud, said: “Tencent has built a lot of data centers and edge locations all over the world and we are trying to build as much as possible for the bandwidth to make sure that the connections between data centers, the user and pop locations will be big enough and the performance will be high.”

Mr. Wang expected cloud gaming will consume more resources than traditional games because everything needs to be processed on the cloud, consuming CPU, memory and hard disks. Tencent optimised multi tenancy to make good use of their hardware resources and lower the cost of operation.

OVHcloud invests heavily in their network to enable seamless and affordable gaming. This is why their network capacity almost doubles every few years to respond to the constantly growing number of gamers in Asia.

James MacKenzie, the Technical Product Manager at OVHcloud, said: “Since I’ve been working here, it’s about almost five times as big as it was. Globally, today, we have about 30 data centers with 34 points of presence.”

OVHcloud also works with startups and partners like AMD to develop solutions that could empower the future of cloud gaming.

“Even though sometimes it’s not 100% there yet, there is technology that is emerging where we can get our hands on it, test it, and see if it’s going to work for these new use cases,” added Mr. MacKenzie.

Looking forward to the future, both Mr. Wang and Mr. MacKenzie agreed that advancements in edge data centers and 5G as well as virtual reality and augmented reality could have a significant impact on the cloud gaming industry.

5G in particular could fulfil the mission of cloud gaming by enabling gamers to play anywhere at any time since cloud gaming is similar to video streaming platforms like YouTube or Netflix for end user devices, so even the oldest of phones could have the potential to play high performance games.

How will cloud gaming impact the future of game design?

For the cloud gaming industry to be successful, content is still king. If the games available on cloud platforms are poor, then the future of cloud gaming could be in question.

In our next GameTech digital event on Tuesday 27 October, we will focus on how cloud infrastructures and cloud gaming will transform the way games are designed.

Register now to explore how we can work together to create your next favourite game on the cloud!

Get involved in the conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Xbox Cloud Gaming to be launched in Korea next month by Microsoft and SK Telecom

In partnership with SK Telecom, Microsoft is set to launch their Xbox cloud gaming platform on September 15 2020.

The new service claims to enable users to play games anywhere they want by accessing cloud servers on Android smartphones and tablets.

Gamers will be given access to more than 100 games by Xbox Game Studios and global game creators through Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Popular gaming titles on the cloud gaming platform, formerly known as Project xCloud, will include Minecraft Dungeons, Halo: Master Chief Collection and Forza Horizon 4.

“We’re grateful for our continued partnership with SK Telecom. They were instrumental in delivering our Project xCloud preview through their leading 5G network technology,” said Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Gaming Cloud.

Microsoft and SK Telecom began working together from September 2019 to make 5G-based cloud gaming in Korea a reality to cater to customers of the world’s fourth largest gaming market.

“Going forward, we will further enrich gamers’ experience by making more games available in the Korean language and identifying promising Korean games,” said Jeon Jin-soo, the Vice President and Head of 5GX Service Business Group at SK Telecom.

The subscription to play on the cloud gaming platform will cost US$14 per month.

How will cloud gaming impact the future of game design?

As we discovered in W.Media’s first GameTech digital event, our speakers from Tencent Cloud and OVHcloud revealed the critical importance of IT infrastructure and edge data centers in enabling a cloud gaming future with almost zero latency and lag.

In our next GameTech digital event on Tuesday 27 October, we will focus on how cloud infrastructures and cloud gaming will transform the way games are designed.

Register now to explore how we can work together to create your next favourite game on the cloud!

Get involved in the conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!