Something to look forward to: For the first time, E3 2019 attendees were invited to get hands on with Microsoft's xCloud game streaming service at the show. If you've been waiting to see what Microsoft's cloud-based gaming and streaming will look like, you'll get a chance to find out for yourself in October, when xCloud gets a public preview.
Microsoft promised to go big at E3 2019, and the company didn't disappoint. Arguably stealing the show before it even started (E3 doesn't kick off in earnest until Tuesday, June 11), Microsoft excited with a slew of announcements including the next-generation Xbox, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and a new Xbox Elite controller. Oh yeah, and there was Keanu Reeves revealing an April 2020 release date for Cyberpunk 2077.
But Microsoft also had a bit to say about the Project xCloud streaming service it has been teasing since last October. Specifically, Microsoft's xCloud will be available for public preview this October, effectively a year after it lifted the lid on the service.
With Console Streaming from your Xbox One you'll be able to:— Xbox ➡️ E3 (@Xbox) June 9, 2019
✅ Turn your Xbox One into your own personal console server
✅ Stream your Xbox One library, including Xbox Game Pass, for free
Where you play is entirely your choice. Going into preview in October. #XboxE3 pic.twitter.com/TmszGgBk21
It seems xCloud will allow gamers to both stream games from Microsoft's servers as well as the Xbox console itself, with October's public preview focusing on the latter. The new platform feature is called Console Streaming, and Xbox Chief Phil Spencer says it will “turn your Xbox One into your own personal and free xCloud server.”
Microsoft's xCloud is destined to do battle with Google Stadia, launching this November. Microsoft is in a good place it would seem; it can publicly test its xCloud services while assessing how the market at large responds to Google Stadia. Microsoft can then respond accordingly.
The cloud gaming wars are heating up, and this may mark the first generation where Microsoft's central gaming opponent isn't Sony -- but Google.