Microsoft's Secret Game-Streaming Service Moving Forward - Report

The technology, described as "the next big thing," now under development with the codename "Arcadia."

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It appears Microsoft's long-rumored game-streaming service is indeed moving forward, though it now has another name. Mary J. Foley of GameSpot sister site Zdnet reports Tuesday that "Arcadia" is the name of a new streaming technology in development at Microsoft's Operating Systems Group.

This technology, according to sources, replaces the Rio game-streaming service that Microsoft showed off with Halo 4 during an internal meeting last year. Microsoft has since referred to that test as a "grand experiment" of what is possible in the game-streaming space.

Arcadia, which is being built on Microsoft's Azure cloud, according to sources, has been referenced in some Microsoft job postings. These requisitions refer to the new service as "the next big thing."

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As for when we might get to see Arcadia, Foley says a reveal next month at Microsoft's Windows 10 event is unlikely, even though Xbox boss Phil Spencer is one of the featured speakers.

"It might be a bit early in the development cycle for Microsoft to take the wraps off Arcadia," she said. "My bet is Arcadia is a post-Windows 10 deliverable. (Windows 10 is due to launch by fall 2015.)"

Arcadia is likely only a codename for Microsoft's rumored game-streaming service. That name might be familiar to Halo fans, as Arcadia is the name of United Earth Government Colony in the series.

A Microsoft spokesperson told GameSpot, "We have nothing to share."

Microsoft's Albert Penello said in 2013, rather directly, that the Xbox One could utilize the Azure cloud server network for a service as significant as game-streaming. Asked if this would be possible, he said at the same, "absolutely," before giving some deeper thoughts on the matter.

"Using our Azure cloud servers, sometimes it's things like voice processing," he said. "It could be more complicated things like rendering full games like a Gaikai and delivering it to the box. We just have to figure out how, over time, how much does that cost to deliver, how good is the experience."

More recently, a report from September 2014 claimed Microsoft's cloud-powered streaming service would allow users to stream Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles to web browsers.

Though the idea of game-streaming might sound exciting, it appears Microsoft isn't willing to rush things. Penello said in a previous interview that game-streaming is both "really cool and really problematic," due in part to the varying bandwidth speeds gamers have access to.

Though Microsoft may not be entering the game-streaming space right away, competitor Sony has been in that business, utilizing the Gaikai technology it paid $380 million for, since the beginning of 2014 through its own service, PlayStation Now. This streaming technology is currently available, in beta, across PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita.

For its part, Sony has referred to PlayStation Now as a "long-term journey."

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