A week before Google’s GDC event, Microsoft held a live demonstration of its own game streaming service, Project xCloud in action at its Xbox live event.
The live event did not provide any more details about the new streaming service but did serve as a reminder that it is coming.
Project xCloud, originally unveiled last year as a cloud gaming service that streams games to PCs, consoles, and mobile devices.
Microsoft has promised public trials will begin in 2019, but is remaining mum about exact dates.
This is the first public demonstration of xCloud with the host playing Forza Horizon 4 from Microsoft’s Azure data centres to an Android device connected to an Xbox One controller via Bluetooth.
The picture and gameplay looked good, not too dissimilar from a console, but until the trials begin it is impossible to know who well it will work.
Microsoft’s Gaming Cloud Chief exec Kareem Choudhry, present in the demonstration, wrote in a blog post that the company isn’t trying to replace consoles with xCloud.
Choudhry is pitching xCloud as an accompaniment to console gaming, which will remain a primary source for 4K and HDR experiences.
“This is not a replacement for the console,” said Choudhry during the live demonstration.
“We are not getting out of the console business.”
Instead, the xCloud is being pitched as an option for gamers on their commute or travelling, or when someone else is using the TV.
Microsoft’s reminder that xCloud exists and public trials are on the way, comes just as Google is gearing up to unveil “the future of gaming” at GDC next week.
But Google isn’t the only rival vying for the title of “Netflix of Gaming”.
Sony is continuously expanding its PlayStation Now service and recently opened up Remote Play for PS4 games to an iPhone or iPad.