Microsoft’s cloud gaming service has been full of new features for a few weeks. A conference dedicated to developers allowed to discover its next evolutions, including two big changes.
Microsoft has been evolving its cloud gaming service rapidly lately. At the beginning of June 2022, Microsoft announced that Xbox players who want to access their games purchased from the Xbox Store, whether or not they are in the Xbox Game Pass catalog, will be able to do so in cloud gaming.
Keyboard and mouse management
This time around, at XFest 2022, Microsoft said it wants to add keyboard/mouse duo support to Xbox Cloud Gaming. It was one of the few functions of Stadia that did not exist at Microsoft. Until now, you had to have a gamepad.
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The session, dedicated to developers, was an opportunity to discuss service improvements. We have thus been able to see Microsoft’s progress in reducing the latency of the service, this is the most important issue in cloud gaming.
What could be more natural ? There is nothing more frustrating than finding yourself with a few tenths of a second lag in the middle of a game or feeling a weight on your mouse as if the cursor weighed 20 kg… This latency is expressed in milliseconds (ms). If we consider that this is imperceptible in the case of a classic PC, it is because on average, this latency does not exceed 40 ms.
Microsoft managed to reduce latency, down to 72ms less, which should improve the overall gaming experience.
Hide black bands on screens
The service should also improve on tablets and smartphones, Microsoft is looking for a way to better distribute its games according to the screen definition. The idea is to avoid ending up with black bands when you have a screen with a different display ratio or an atypical definition. This is the case on iPad with the 4:3 screen which requires adapting the definition of the stream.
As a reminder, Microsoft’s cloud gaming service was born as Project xCloud then was integrated into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate without bearing a name, before finally being distinguished as Xbox Cloud Gaming.
We now expect to discover, soon, a small Xbox dedicated to cloud gaming. The project is called Keystone. The idea would be to follow what Google was offering at the launch of Google Stadia, its cloud gaming service, with Chromecast Ultra. A low-cost product in HDMI to connect to your TV to transform it into a device capable of accessing cloud gaming.
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