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E3 Microsoft XBox (Games) Games

Microsoft is Working on its Own Game Streaming, Netflix-Like Service (theverge.com) 73

Phil Spencer, Microsoft's gaming chief, revealed the company is building a streaming game service for any device. Our cloud engineers are building a game streaming network to unlock console gaming on any device, he said, adding this service will offer "console quality gaming on any device." From a report: "Gaming is now at its most vibrant," he said. "In this significant moment we are constantly challenging ourselves about where we can take gaming next." He said that Microsoft is recommitting and harnessing the full breath of the company to deliver on the future of play. That includes experts in Microsoft research working on developing the future of gaming AI and the company's cloud engineers building a game streaming network. He added that the company is also in the midst of developing the architecture for the next Xbox consoles. Further reading: Microsoft Acquires Four Gaming Studios, Including Ninja Theory, As It Looks To Bolster First-Party Catalog.

Microsoft is Working on its Own Game Streaming, Netflix-Like Service

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  • Battletoads.

    They have the license, if they chose to make it happen I would consider giving them money. Otherwise I'll just keep running it on my Wii in emulation (on a ROM that copied from a physical copy that I do own, of course). I don't give a damn about Halo 23, I just want all the Battletoads games that they have selfishly deprived us of for so many years.
  • Microsoft is the original corporate #MeToo.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I love playing my game with a 200ms input latency, it really makes me feel like I'm just instructing my character where to move rather than controlling them directly, makes it more immersive.

  • Microsoft's experience in entertainment delivery, Groove Music, probably shows the way. Maybe it'll last a year, if that.
  • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Sunday June 10, 2018 @07:59PM (#56762148)
    This is how I always explain streaming games to people who can't immediately see the horrible problems with it:

    Imagine if the old Ubisoft always-on DRM were an inherent, unremoveable aspect of the game system rather than just something tacked on to a few individual games after the fact, such that Ubisoft couldn't even begrudgingly neuter it in a patch. Well, a streamed game is even worse than that would be.

    The game doesn't even run locally. All you get is streaming video/audio and all the lag you'd expect (including controller lag), which is a recipe for disaster in North America. And any interruption in the connection that lasts more than a few tenths of a second is going to be behave like the equivalent of a "freeze" or "hang" that you'd NEVER tolerate in a properly local-hosted game. Not even the most twitchy DRM existing today has that problem.

    Some people consider IPS monitors unsuitable for games requiring fast reflexes (i.e. FPSes) due to their double-digit response times. Internet latency is often worse and certainly more unpredictable than LCD monitor response time, and with streamed games it applies to audio and keyboard/controller/etc input too.

    Then there are the bandwidth requirements.

    Let's say you're lucky enough to have a 30mb/s connection. Why would you want to use it to transfer your game's video instead of, uh, a DVI cable, which is capable of 4 Gb/s? The people who developed DVI apparently understood that that 1920 x 1200 pixels w/ 24 bits/pixels @ 60Hz results in bandwidth well over 3 Gb/s. The people who developed streamed games seem very, very confused (at best).

    Those of us who know anything about bandwidth and compression and (especially) latency can see the enormous technical obstacles facing a service like this, and Onlive never did anything to explain how they intended to solve them. Instead, they did everything they could to lock out independent reviewers with NDAs and closed demonstrations. A friend of mine described it as the gaming equivalent of the perpetual motion scam, and IMO that's spot on (except that streamed games would still have the draconian DRM issues even if it worked perfectly).

    Streamed games appear designed from the ground up to benefit the game publishers and fuck the customers, exactly what you'd expect from any DRM system.

    P.S. Remember when Microsoft intended 24-hour XBox One check-ins, and gamers rejected that? How the fuck are mandatory check ins going to fly when measured in milliseconds?
    • 100% DRM. Always Was.

      You're way too late for that, this began with ultima online and everquest. The big corporate project was to get a generation of gamers growing up where not owning videogames was normal. They did this using the "MMO LIE", there was no reason for drm'd PC rpg's with a subscription to be branded mmo's. But companies know the public is not bright. Watch how fast you get downvoted on reddit if you mention mmo's are just game software programs and they were the trial ballon to test how stupid gamers were to

      • by DrYak ( 748999 )

        Technically, the idea is that for MMO you aren't paying for the game itself.
        You're paying for the "online experience" of playing together "with thousands of other people".

        (Kind of the difference between:
        - paying for you drinks at a store and drinking them at home while enjoying the evening on your balcony,
        - and paying an obscene mark-up for going out in club where the main selling point is supposed to be the ambiance and the opportunity to hook up with other human beings).

        The fee you pay is supposed to cove

        • Technically, the idea is that for MMO you aren't paying for the game itself.
          You're paying for the "online experience" of playing together "with thousands of other people".

          That's marketing bullshit son, if that wasn't the case private wow servers wouldn't exist. see below:

          https://news.ycombinator.com/i... [ycombinator.com]

          So no the fact that you believe that corporate propaganda means you're stupid. That's the whole point I was making the word "MMO" is a scam word you can have an mmo you own as a complete single player game with multiplayer server integrated. There's no difference other than people like you being stupid.

          • That's marketing bullshit son, if that wasn't the case private wow servers wouldn't exist. see below:

            https://news.ycombinator.com/i... [ycombinator.com]

            Well that was the whole point my long pos (past the 2 lines of introduction you cited)t:
            - To make this "bullshit" (as you call it) explanation valid, efforts are needed to make 3rd party servers acceptable.
            But currenlty that not the case everywhere.
            - That *is* the case with Minecraft. (Pay a recurring subscription only if you want access to their servers. Pay the blob once and then play with your friends on your own personal server if you want isntead).
            - That is *definitely not* the case wit

            • Look you don't seem to get World of warcraft already has the server exe's they just don't release them because that would defeat the purpose of subscription aka they would undermine their business model. I'm telling you they could give you private servers from the start. So yeah I called you stupid because activision ALREADY has server code it just doesn't release it. Companies figured out people like you were irrationally stupid to an insane degree and stopped including multiplayer instructions with the

              • (First thing first : Please try to get some professional help for your compulsive coprolalia or something. It really doesn't help to get your point accross when every other word in your sentences is calling everybody "idiots", "morons", etc. Structured argumentation is way much more efficient at that).

                Also, maybe you should take note that we both agree that trying to *force locking gamers* into a subscription-based system is a bad idea.
                (Basically, I'm on your side, just maybe not as extreme as you).

                To me it

    • The end of Net Neutrality will make this incomprehensibly terrible. You will be paying 2+ entities to make a game work.
      • The end of Net Neutrality means that when you pay Microsoft $18 per month for your gaming account, Microsoft passes along $4 of that to your ISP which guarantees you'll get the speed needed to access and play their games. The middleman (government) is cut out of the deal.

        • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

          The middleman (government) is cut out of the deal.

          Considering they were never part of the deal, I can safely and respectfully say, "Da fuk you talkin' bout?"

        • by Calydor ( 739835 )

          Considering I'm still waiting on the ISP to get off their asses and put fiber in the ground here so I can get more than 448/96 kbps ADSL, those 18 dollars a month to make Microsoft make the ISP guarantee I get the right speed sound very, very intriguing ...

        • I'm already paying my ISP for that bandwidth. I will not pay twice.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Most of the twitchy games are online multiplayer, I can access local newspapers online with a 11-12 ms round trip. I assume that means when I play Overwatch it already takes 6ms for my keystrokes to reach the server and 6ms to send a response back like that's already a sunk cost. I find there's ultra low latency encoders that use 3ms on a frame. Worst case if the line can barely keep up is 16.67ms lag at 60 FPS, but if for example you send 5 Mbps 1080p over a 30 Mbit line or 25 Mbps UHD over a 100Mbit line

      • by Calydor ( 739835 )

        I am fascinated by how the entire world apparently has a connection as awesome as yours. Did you stop to consider what happens to anyone NOT on a super-duper fiber connection?

    • Those of us who know anything about bandwidth and compression and (especially) latency can see the enormous technical obstacles facing a service like this, and Onlive never did anything to explain how they intended to solve them.

      One potential way to partially solve the problem is what is currently being done by several IPTV, video streaming (Netflix does it) or messageing/voice-/video-chactting (WhatsApp is doing it) and even was done by some ISPs back in the Quake-over-modem era in order to reduce (outbound) bandwidth costs and (your local) latency:
      put servers in the ISPs local point of presence server room.
      Your lag will be mostly influenced by the latency over your home internet connection (optical fiber, cable or dsl), and the

  • Can't wait to use my VBA skills and my regedit expertise to put my name at the top of the leaderboard, like I used to do with Microsoft Plus games.

  • Asking for a friend.

  • Can't wait to dust off my Apple //e!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I know, they could call it "Streams For Sure", and create some sort of device to play it on ("Vune" maybe).

    NO WAY would Micro$oft allow you to invest your money in a dead-end product.

  • MEEE TOOOOOOOOOOO!

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel

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