Microsoft Developing Xbox Games Streaming Service, Report Claims

Cloud technology could bring Xbox One and 360 games to web browsers.

In May 2013, former Xbox exec Marc Whitten revealed that Microsoft has some 300,000 dedicated servers for Xbox
In May 2013, former Xbox exec Marc Whitten revealed that Microsoft has some 300,000 dedicated servers for Xbox

Microsoft could be close to releasing a consumer version of its internally tested cloud games service, according to one report, which would allow Xbox games to be played in web browsers.

According to at least two purported inside sources speaking to Neowin, the unannounced service allows people to play both Xbox One and Xbox 360 games in certain web browsers, including Google's Chrome.

One person supposedly familiar with Microsoft's plans claims that the streaming service can remotely display games at 60FPS. The Xbox 360 dashboard can also be streamed, offering access to an additional range of console features.

Microsoft said "we do not comment on rumors or speculation" when approached by GameSpot.

In July, the software giant's new chief executive, Satya Nadella, emphisised Microsoft's new direction by stating "we live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world".

Game streaming technology works by running hardware and software at sophisticated server farms and streaming the data to customers remotely. Companies such as OnLive have bet their business on the viability of the technology, while Sony has invested in the area too by purchasing rival firm Gaikai and using its tech to establish the PlayStation Now service.

Microsoft, which insists it still has a PC games strategy despite the general winding down of Games For Windows Live, could use the cloud service to reinvigorate its business in that area.

Whether the internally tested Xbox streaming service is given clearance for commercial release is unclear. Neowin's report claimed "the product, as it stands right now, has Xbox branding and works outside the walls of Microsoft".

However, it added that licensing issues with games publishers could become a challenge.

Last year, Microsoft demonstrated Halo 4 running in the cloud on various devices at the company’s all-employee meeting.

"This project is the on-going work from that demo to bring it to more users," Neowin's repot claimed.

"Our understanding is that significant progress has been made from that demo and it is now being rolled out to more users."

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