2020 should end up being a big year for Microsoft’s Project xCloud, but a new report today is suggesting that 2021 could be just as big for the service. Microsoft is planning to launch Project xCloud as part of Xbox Game Pass later this year – thereby unleashing its Google Stadia and PlayStation Now competitor – but next year, we may see Microsoft move to Xbox Series X hardware in its Project xCloud server blades.
So says The Verge, which spoke with “sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans” who say that while Microsoft will power these server blades with Xbox One S hardware at first, we’ll see it move to Xbox Series X hardware next year. That, as you’ve probably already guessed, will make these server blades quite a bit more powerful.
Just how much more powerful? As The Verge understands it, the processor at the center of the Xbox Series X, and by extension at the center of these souped up server blades, is “capable of running four Xbox One S game sessions simultaneously.” Add to that a faster, built-in video encoder and it’s pretty easy to see why Microsoft would want to upgrade.
On top of that, The Verge has also heard that Microsoft will look to roll out PC server blades for xCloud as well, allowing Game Pass PC subscribers to get in on the game streaming action. Getting into the PC streaming game would allow Microsoft to better compete with services like Stadia, so rolling out dedicated PC servers seems like a logical step for the company.
As always, take what you read here with a grain of salt, but it’s hardly a stretch to think that Microsoft would want to upgrade its server blades with Xbox Series X hardware. We’ll see what happens next year, presumably once Project xCloud and Xbox Series S have both officially launched.