Microsoft is ling up alongside Sony and Google with a game streaming service that is likely to be the death knell for consoles.
The Seattle software giant is launching Project xCloud in the autumn to compete with Sony’s PlayStation Now and Google Stadia.
Instead of buying games to download from the internet to play on a home device, the game is streamed from a live server and rented like music, streaming TV and films.
But some gamers are worried that their slow broadband speeds may stop them from fully enjoying some of the more bandwidth hungry offerings.
Microsoft says Project xCloud will do for video games what Netflix has done for TV and movies and Spotify has for music.
No limit gaming 24/7
The services allow everyone to play what they want , when and where they want – with no limits other than bandwidth.
Instead of invisible shackles chaining gamers to their TVs, now they can take their games with them wherever they go.
But whereas music and movies can buffer, games must run without any lag to provide the optimum experience, which is a more challenging technology concept.
Every game available on Xbox One will shift to Project xCloud – adding up to more than 3,500 games with almost 2,000 more in development.
Gamers can access the service by smartphone, tablet or PC over the internet.
Your own hybrid gaming cloud
Apparently, Project xCloud works by turning a gamer’s Xbox into a streaming server that their other devices can access remotely.
“It turns your Xbox One into your own personal and free xCloud server,” said Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Xbox and gaming.
“Whether you’re using a console in our data centre or your console at home, this October, you’ll be able to use our hybrid gaming cloud to play your games wherever you go.”
The minimum spec of a connecting device is yet to be released.
And the cost? PlayStation Now with 600 games costs £12.99 a month, while Google Stadia will have a £8.99 a month subscription plus some extra costs which are still to be announced. Project xCloud is likely to price match the others.