Game Stack – Project xCloud Developer Update: Making Games Cloud Aware

Project xCloud server blades in a stack

Imagine being able to play the games you want, with the people you want, anywhere you want. That’s Xbox’s aspiration. Project xCloud is an important step in bringing us closer to that aspiration. By leveraging the power of the cloud, we enable existing games to reach new audiences in new ways that were never before possible without having to change your game.

Over the past year, we’ve invited gamers and developers to start experiencing cloud game streaming. Through the Project xCloud Preview, we have made 90+ titles available to play and continue to increase capacity in Azure regions throughout the world. We are seeing gamers try more games, play on more devices, and engage in more ways. From the beginning, we’ve been focused on a seamless experience for gamers to play their games and making it as easy as possible for developers to make their games available.

At GDC 2019 we gave a sneak peek at how developers can enhance their games for a streaming experience by making them cloud aware. Since then we have learned a great deal about what developers need and how to help them tailor their games for this new environment. Taking these learnings, we have been focused on improving three key areas:

  • Input. Gamers playing on their mobile devices want to be able to play anywhere, anytime without having to carry a controller around with them. Support for touch overlays control and native touch interaction allows developers to easily offer natural interactivity for their games.
  • Screen Size. When games are being streamed to a mobile device you may want to adjust the text size or other elements of the game to make it more playable. We now have APIs that provide device-side characteristics such as screen size that enable to you correctly make those adjustments.
  • Network. Over the last decade, multiplayer games have worked hard to make sure gamers have a fair and predictable experience even when all players don’t have the same network connections. A cloud aware game has the ability to understand the network that the gamer is on and can make adjustments as needed. In addition to APIs to manage connection state and server locations, we also provide a set of tools that allow developers to simulate different network conditions.

As part of Game Stack Live, we’ve pre-recorded a set of talks to share our learnings from the past year, as well as walking developers through how to build a best in class cloud aware experience for their games. We have posted two new talks that can be found here:

You can also find additional developer resources such how to get started and API documentation on Microsoft’s developer site .

These are early steps in our exciting journey and we look forward to working closely with our partners to reach and grow the gaming community in new ways.


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