Part of the appeal of game streaming technology is the promise that you can play anywhere. Unfortunately, this won’t necessarily come cheap. You are going to need a decent mobile connection. But – thankfully – Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has declared Xbox’s Project xCloud “plays fine” on 4G.
Google Stadia has already explained the speeds you’ll need for a good experience and it has left some concerned. According to ISPreview, the UK average for 4G download speeds is 15.1Mbps – this is not much higher than the 10Mbps minimum requirement for Google Stadia.
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Speaking to Engadget, Xbox boss Phil Spencer seemed to give Project xCloud the edge against Stadia with regards to mobile performance. Spencer didn’t give statistics but stated: “We’re running on 4G, and it plays fine, I use it. I’m not trying to say it’s recreating the experience you have on an Xbox One X … It’s a different experience than that. But it does go with you.”
The prospect of running reasonable quality game streaming via 4G may alleviate the concerns of some gamers as well as some potential pressure on their wallets. 5G is still in the early stages but the UK’s first 5G provider EE has started contracts at a whopping £54 per month.
The relief about being able to play on 4G may be slightly shortlived, however. You can expect any kind of substantial game streaming to use a lot of data when it comes around – meaning you may need to increase your allowance. Regardless, a lot of 4G data will likely still remain cheaper than a lot of 5G data.
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The Xbox E3 Briefing didn’t give a lot away about Project xCloud – including connection requirements – but Microsoft’s streaming tech does seem to be taking a more measured approach to the new way of playing games.
Spencer declared: “We’re not coming in and trying to tell people to stop doing what they were doing before and to adopt streaming today as the only way that they should play”. xCloud intends to let users utilise their own PC as a server as well as using Microsoft Azure cloud system – unlike Google Stadia which will be completely cloud-based.