The ability to swap effortlessly between devices - while all building to a singular experience - is seen by many as an intrinsic part of the future of video games. Valve launched its in-home streaming service in May of this year, allowing gamers with multiple computers at home to remotely install, launch and play games via the use of Steam on a remote PC.
Meanwhile, Sony has taken an active interest in remote access and streaming as well, with its PlayStation TV device allowing PS4 owners to use their console remotely. Sony have also experimented with PlayStation Now, a promising idea plagued by some nagging issues, particularly the out of control rental costs.
Given the industry-wide shift, it was obvious that Microsoft would also make a move towards streaming in some form; after all, with Windows and Xbox two of the biggest names in tech and gaming, surely it would be a match made in heaven. Now, it seems as though Microsoft is making their move towards cloud streaming. As it turns out, the gaming giant has been experimenting with playing games in a browser - and apparently, the streaming of Xbox One titles is in the cards.
An article by Neowin reveals that Microsoft has been conducting research into streaming for some time, trying to overcome latency issues that have so far hindered the development of remote play and cloud streaming. This research project, known as 'DeLorean,' created a method of rendering frames that can allegedly mask up to 250ms of latency. Project DeLorean tested positively with Fable and Doom 3, and apparently Microsoft is developing it for - hopefully - bigger and better things.
According to sources, the cloud streaming service is thought to be running at around 60FPS, and is set to become Microsoft's next massive feature for gamers. The system dashboard allegedly also runs in the browser, offering up the full Xbox experience. If true, this kind of prototype could genuinely push the boundaries of a home gaming console - after all, without the requirement of processing power, there's nothing to stop these games running on any kind of device.
That said, there are certainly plenty of issues to be discussed. The project is, after all, barely beyond the concept stage and there is no information about any kind of release date. There is no guarantee that this project, however impressive it has been so far, will ever see the light of day (that's without getting into the legal issues of such a property). Licensing from third party publishers could prove difficult, given that the nature of a streaming system would be sure to have massive implications for the sale of PC versions of any titles available via a cloud streaming system.
Even so, it's hard to not get a little excited about this news. We'll keep you posted on any more rumors about this prototype steaming service.