Microsoft has been in a lot of gaming news of late for their ambitious plans around their xCloud gaming service, whether it’s new apps, hardware, or even games that are all aimed at getting more people to use this service. One of the most critical components though is still getting the games to run as if a person is playing them on an actual next-generation console, which Microsoft is doing by installing actual Xbox Series X hardware into their data centres.
The latter is a promise that Microsoft made a while ago and recently revealed they were in the final stages of implementing. But it appears these efforts are finally starting to pay off as a new tweet from The Verge’s Tom Warren showed off some new games like Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Rainbow Six Siege running at 120fps on improved graphics and loading a lot faster, like they would on a regular Xbox Series X console.
It is worth noting though that the performance on display here was achieved in the US with the user (who is part of the invite-only beta) within a decent range of a Microsoft data centre. So expect actual performance to be rather varied once it goes live and has to deal with increased load and latency issues from people all over the world. It’s not clear when Microsoft intends to roll out much of this Xbox Series X hardware to data centres outside of the US and parts of the EU, so it could still be a while before we get these sorts of servers in South Africa – which would be the only feasibly way to play them without getting a ridiculous latency rate.
What this does show though is that cloud gaming is certainly possible if all the right infrastructure is in place. It might be a while still till this is viable for most, but could be an indication that this current console generation may be the last one for Microsoft where gaming-specific hardware is required to be in people’s homes.
Last Updated: June 23, 2021