Today during today’s Gamescom 2021 Xbox stream we revealed we’re bringing cloud gaming to Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One this holiday , enabling Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to play 100+ games right from the cloud and discover new games with the click of a button. It’s a way for console gamers to play some of their favorite games as quickly as possible, jump into games with friends more easily, and try out Xbox Game Pass titles before installing them.
With the ability to play games before you install, it’ll be easier than ever for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to:
Discover and play over 100 high-quality games in the Xbox Game Pass library without having to use valuable storage space or wait for installs.
Quickly jump into the fun with your friends in multiplayer games, like Sea of Thieves , as soon as you get the invite so you can set sail without waiting for an install.
Play Gen 9-only Xbox games like Microsoft Flight Simulator and The Medium on your Xbox One via the cloud – coming in the future.
Bottom line? Cloud gaming on your console further reduces your time to fun! All you have to do is navigate to Xbox Game Pass and look for games with the cloud icon.
This is by far the biggest news from today IMO. This is amazing stuff. I expect this will be touted as a killer feature up there and beyond backwards compatibility, games pass, cross-play, smart delivery and FPS boost.
Is there any info on which countries/territories this is coming to?
Or the global cloud rollout in general. Here in Taiwan it’s a no go full stop. VPN isn’t really a good solution with the latency and I don’t want to try and cheat my way around it. Just hope we get news soon…
Watching this week’s XboxEra Podcast, and got to thinking about what was brought up by @Shpeshal_Nick and @Knottian . Very interesting concept and discussion points. The discussion is about playing a game via streaming while it natively installs on the console and then seamlessly move into playing it natively.
Here’s how I’d attempt pulling this off (without knowing all the technical limitations). It involves the abuse of QuickResume. I’d force a QuickResume save on the server, download that QR Snapshot to the native console, and finally do the QR Launch on the native client. Excluding download times of this additional QR Snapshot, this would take around 6 seconds of loading on the native console.
Now that wouldn’t be textbook seamless, but it would likely be good enough to have it be an option for user-initiated Control Transfer. I hope this is something the Xbox team manages to pull off.
While in theory it would be amazing to have that level of seamlessness (I think only currently possible hopping from cloud client to cloud client like from your TV quickly over to your phone without actually quitting out of your session), hand waving away the time it takes to download the QR state kinda handwaves the major flaw in it.
A QR state could take up like 8-12 GB. You would first need that uploaded (and xCloud servers have ludicrous speeds so that’s no problem), but then to download that amount while also downloading the game would be slow. And if the game is complete, and you suspend your xCloud session to hop over to the state then you still have to download that 8-12 GB.
I would imagine on average it would be faster for the vast majority of people to launch the game locally and resume by continuing a save than waiting for the QR state to come in. The SSDs are fast enough in this specific use case
You’d never have QR Snapshot being downloaded while you’re still installing the game. It only comes into play after the full installation is complete. No conflicts there.
You are right that there is still time to download the QR Snapshot. Even if there’s still compression involved that halves the size, it still requires fast internet. Assuming it achieves 500 mbit (speeds I have had during downloads) that’s around 2 minutes for 7-8GBs. That’s too long to present to a user the “Transferring Control” dialog. That’s too reliant on fast internet, which is nothing Xbox/Microsoft can solve unless they go into the ISP business.
I wanted to focus on the technical abuse of QR. Because who doesn’t love finding new ways to make things work beyond their initial intended focus or scope.
So maybe the feature doesn’t start off as seamless or real-time, but it could be done at the end of your play session. So when you next play it on native console it’s QuickResumed instead of initial loading etc.
As you said though, it probably doesn’t make any practical difference on games today over fresh loading the game and loading up the save game.
So let’s go for a new approach, this time maybe we can abuse the multitasking aspect of the Xbox system and Cloud Saves along with a new technical API feature.
This new approach will require explicit support from games. We have the xCloud Streaming program running as an Application. When the download of the native game installation is finished, the system forces a Cloud Save on the server, the native console downloads this minimal save data, launches the native game in the background specifying to load that save data, and finally when that’s done the “Transferring Control” overlay is removed resulting with the gamer playing natively. This isn’t entirely different from the PlayStation card system, where the game is instructed to load into specific moments. I’ve never had the Syncing or Downloading Cloud Data go beyond a few seconds.