Arcade mod for xCloud games

The mobile versions of games like PUBG, Fortnite and Call of Duty came to smartphones at a later stage and exploded immediately. These games have over 100 million install base each on android store alone. (Can’t confirm for Fortnite because you know why😜)

Now imagine, these PC games when launched on smartphone, players can only play with controllers. I can guarantee you that these games wouldn’t have become this much popular on smartphones if above was the case. These games adapted to the touch first input mechanism to ease it’s adoption on the smartphones.

The market of xCloud is the same players which play these games with touch friendly interface. Atleast one of the market if not all.

xCloud team is investing in touch control. But I want them to go even beyond that and work with game studios to implement ‘Arcade mod’ as i like to call it, which simplifies the control inputs of the game while being played on xCloud.

Console games have input controls which at times could be too complex for a touch based input. Using arcade mod, devs can simplify the inputs for touch interface.

One example i will throw and say Forza Horizon 4 requires high precision of LT and RT buttons to appropriately accelerate and brake in the game without skidding. Achieving this precision on a touch interface appears impossible to me. The mechanics are also too complex and controlling such a game would be difficult on touch screens. Game devs should look into implementing simpler inputs for smoother experience while Playing on xCloud.

Now, you may argue with me and say players should use controllers instead of touch input. Well, you might be okay with it but the market won’t. The need of a controller limits the potential of xCloud service.

A simpler input might take away from the overall experience but the asscessability it provides when you are traveling or on a break in the office, will be far greater. I won’t care if my Ferrari is having a real simulation on the road or not. I will just enjoy the beauty which is ‘Forza Horizon’ while waiting at a bus stand or some similar scenario.

I hope as the xCloud gains market share, devs start investing in simpler mechanics for touch based inputs. I want this but i also know that main core of the game would require standard controls and i don’t want devs to design the game as a touch first experience. Devs should build the games as they already do for consoles and later on, add this feature for xCloud version. I want this as something extra but not as standard. It should not affect the core gameplay of the game while playing on the console. But adapts to touch interface with whatever required limitations in gameplay to implement touch inputs while Playing on xCloud. And ofcouse, i just want it to be a choice on xCloud. Just provide the choice and let the gamer choose the way he wants to play.

And if you are concerned with difficulty parity between console and xCloud players, well this can be easily taken care off by reducing in game rewards and creating separate servers for games while played in ‘Arcade mod’

There are billions of gamers on mobile and even if only 10% of them are willing to join xCloud, then you are looking at a player base of hundred million gamers. Simpler touch inputs will be a great investment to capture such a market base.

And let’s be really here, MS doesn’t created xCloud just for the Xbox console players to play there game on mobile as well. They are looking for those player who play games but don’t buy consoles. Touch based input is vital for the long term xCloud success. Something like Arcade mod can help bridge the gap between standard console gaming and simpler mobile gaming.

Thanks for reading long post, must have been tiresome :sweat_smile:

What are your thoughts?

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I believe Forza horizon already has difficulty settings to the point where you can basically just hold the gas full throttle and make it around the courses.

But I get what you are saying. MS wouldn’t need to get involved with this unless you were wanting them to mandate this specific sort of accessibility. Currently devs know when a game is streaming and when the user is using a touch screen. It is up to them on how to handle that situation.

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Actually, MS recently stated that a develepor can optimize the game to xCloud if they want. I am sure gameplay/input is included on this.

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You are absolutely right about the touch controls. If MS really want to recruit the often-quoted “2 billion gamers”, any xCloud game needs to be playable without a controller. And I think they cannot delegate this task to the game developers because those are not making a game for mobile in most cases, so most of them will probably not implement any touch control scheme.

Would be sad if MS were dropping the ball now that they are almost at the finish line.

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For what’s worth, there are Xcloud apis, the dev doesn’t have to use them but allows for the game to know when it’s streaming and adapt, though I dunno how Ms can make that mainstream other than leading by example.

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