Earlier this year, Microsoft opened the console streaming preview to all members of their Xbox Insider Program. This feature allows users to stream their console games over their local network to a mobile device. This preview can be considered as a test to see how they implement game streaming in the next generation of console hardware.
The Xbox Series X features more computing power than the current generation of consoles, but Microsoft is focusing harder than ever before on streaming games to mobile devices. The recent preview of their game streaming service shows the current focus of the manufacturer.
A personal and local game server
Google Stadia, the game streaming service of Google, uses the processing power of their servers to stream games over the internet to mobile devices. However, you remain dependent on a fast internet connection to an external server.
It is clear that Microsoft wants to offer gamers the final decision about how they want to enjoy their games. In the next generation of consoles, gamers can still purchase a traditional console. If you want to play the games on a mobile device, the console can be used as a local game server to stream the games to the device of your personal choice.
Compatible devices and network requirements
Streaming games from the cloud to a mobile device requires no large downloads or installation files, but these services require more internet bandwidth to ensure a comfortable gameplay session. This may be a problem in certain regions.
In local game streaming solutions, the traditional console hardware remains at the core of the gameplay experience. The games are downloaded and installed on the device and streamed over the local network to compatible mobile devices. This reduces the internet requirements.
Benefits and drawbacks
Streaming games over a local network or internet may lead to additional latency or input delays. Compared to cloud streaming services, the local game streaming solutions featured in traditional console hardware reduce the influence of these game-breaking drawbacks.
However, these problems are still present and inevitable. It remains a question for developers to keep the lag to a minimum. A lower latency results in a smoother and better gameplay experience without noticeable stutters.
Another benefit of local game streaming services is the number of games available. You can stream your entire collection of console games that you have already purchased. Seen the number of backwards compatible titles, the next generation of consoles will have enough good games.
Anywhere at any time on any device
Most of the technology and entertainment industry is heading towards services and streaming as the preferred distribution methods. In an ideal world, gamers are able to enjoy their games anywhere and on any device. No matter the hardware requirements of the games itself.
As the preview of these local game streaming features in the current and next generation of consoles progresses and more user feedback is obtained, the developers will be able to further improve the performance. In the end, local game streaming offers gamers the choice about how they want to play their games and offers the best gameplay experience.
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Disclaimer. This post contains copyrighted images from Gears 5, a video game developed by The Coalition and published by Microsoft Studios. The fair use of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting or research is not considered as an infringement of copyright.