Microsoft “in talks” for Project xCloud exclusive games

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Microsoft has also added new APIs to the Xbox SDK to make it easier to develop games intended for streaming.

Microsoft is “in talks” with first- and third-party studios to create and release Project xCloud exclusive games.

Microsoft’s Kareem Choudhry made the confirmation at X019 in London as part of a group interview with Australian outlets, stressing that there weren’t any title-specific announcements to make at this time.

“In terms of [Project xCloud] exclusives, we’re in early talks with first- and third- parties, but we don’t have any announcements to share,” Choudhry asserted. “New content and IP takes eighteen months to two years [to develop].”

Choudry stressed that “the first thing that we’re doing is… just lifting and shifting content that doesn’t require any development changes into the cloud. So right away we’ve got a platform that can run any of the 3000 games you can run on Xbox today.”

Choudhry also confirmed that specific APIs have been added to the Xbox SDK to let a game “know at runtime [if it is] being streamed or not.”

Calling the functionality “cloud aware,” Choudhry said the APIs enable developers “to make any changes that they want, specific to streaming — things like changing the font sizes or… changing some of their networking code to account for the fact that the server is in a data center.”

Project xCloud is in an active trial in the UK, the US and Korea. The preview program will extend to more regions — and more devices — in 2020.

Update: Microsoft has contacted Stevivor with a request to clarify its position on xCloud after the X019 interview, and now says it isn’t working on xCloud exclusive content.

“We are investigating a variety of new capabilities made possible by the cloud,” a statement from a Microsoft spokesperson reads. “However, we remain committed to an approach with game streaming that is complementary to console and have no plans for cloud-exclusive content at this time.”

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