Project xCloud could drive future Xbox backwards compatibility

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Microsoft doesn't necessarily need to support backwards compatibility using hardware in its next-gen console.

A new Project xCloud update suggests that Microsoft could lean on the technology to support future Xbox backwards compatibility functionality.

Detailing that Project xCloud blades have been installed in 13 Azure datacentres around the globe, an Xbox Wire post by Kareem Choudhry asserts that “leading global development teams such as Capcom and Paradox Interactive now have the ability to easily test their games directly from Project xCloud without having to port to a new platform.”

More importantly, the post takes pride in that “today you can play three generations of amazing games on Xbox One,” but more specifically, “that Project xCloud has the technical capability to stream more than 3,500 games, without any changes or modifications required by a developer.”

Microsoft has yet to detail the next-generation of Xbox console, but the company has a history of supporting backwards compatibility: the Xbox 360 supported original Xbox games and the Xbox One supports titles from both generations before it. If Microsoft strangely decides not to support backwards compatibility at the hardware level of its next-gen console, we at least know it’s with Project xCloud itself.

Project xCloud’s in its early days at the moment, focusing on streaming Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One content to a smaller screen such as one on an Android smartphone. Project xCloud is also competing against Google Stadia, a service that is promising 1080p, 60 FPS connections that require internet speeds of 25Mbps. Project xCloud, meanwhile, boasts it could do the same using an internet connection speed under 10Mbps.

We’ll have more on Project xCloud as it’s made available.