Xbox Console Streaming dependent on upload speeds

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While Project xCloud needs downloads, Console Streaming is more demanding.

A requirement of high upload speeds is what sets Xbox Console Streaming apart from Project xCloud, Microsoft’s Kareen Choudhry told Stevivor at X019.

Ever since the announcement of a preview of both services back at E3 2019, I was always a little bit confused as to which a user would use if they had both a Project xCloud subscription and an Xbox One at home. I asked Choudhry if he could provide scenarios where a user would use each.

“You should think of Console Streaming as a feature of the console,” Choudhry began. “You purchased a console from us. You’ve got the ability to play content on their console and we just want to make it as successful as possible to use from software. We’re not going to charge anything forward. It’s about you streaming from your home console.

“If you have, let’s say, the upload speed that actually supports you doing that, you have a great experience. We want to enable that.”

Indeed, Microsoft says that a home network “upload speed of at least 4.75 Mbps is required, but 9 Mbps or faster is optimal for the best Console Streaming experience.” You’ll also need download speeds of 10Mbps or greater to play remotely on the device of your choice.

Because Project xCloud runs off Microsoft’s own Azure server farms, that upload requirement is negated. For xCloud, Microsoft recommends download speeds of 10Mbps or greater.

“In terms of Project xCloud, that’s about us pulling hardware into the data centers and serving from the cloud,” Choudhry continued. “So as Catherine [Gluckstein, General Manager of Project xCloud] mentioned, we’re going to enable you to stream content that you own, now and in the picture and also incorporating the game fast.”

With the background explained, both Choudry and Gluckstein provided scenarios on when either technology could be used.

“What if you traveled far away from your home? What if somebody is actually playing at that time on your console at home?” Choudhry asked. “There’s a whole list of scenarios.”

“Or you never buy a console, and this is your way into the Xbox ecosystem,” Gluckstein added. “So you know, we really think about all scenarios.”

Both Project xCloud and Xbox Console Streaming are in active trials in the US, the UK and Korea. The preview program will extend to more regions — and more devices — in 2020, though Australia isn’t on the list as yet.

Steve Wright attended X019 in London, England as a guest of Microsoft. Travel and accomodation were supplied by Microsoft.