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Microsoft is expanding the gameplay functionality of its Xbox video game console, as the company announced on October 29 that it would be opening its latest console streaming feature to testers of its Xbox One.
Explaining the rationale for this feature update, Microsoft said that Console Streaming, the new feature which will be making this accessible, will allow gamers to enjoy their favorite games straight from their console and into their mobile device. So, as opposed to employing a physical console (or even a cloud-based one, for that matter), players can carry their games wherever they go straight on their mobile devices.
In the release, Jonathan Hildebrandt, a Program Manager for Xbox, said, “If you’re an Xbox Insider in the Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead rings in the US and UK, you can now try a preview of Xbox Console Streaming. You’ll be able to play your owned and installed Xbox One games, including Xbox Game Pass titles, on an Android phone or tablet remotely from your home console.”
Just as it is with the game manufacturer’s xCloud streaming service, Console Streaming is only exclusive to Android devices. As at press time, Microsoft has yet to announce any plans to make the streaming service available to players on the iOS platform.
However, access to the new feature also comes with some requirements; players should have an open or moderate NAT type, a network latency of 125ms or less, at least 4.75 Mbps in upload bandwidth, and an Xbox One console set to “instant on” in the power options.
The success of the Xbox streaming service is a contrast to the performance of its main gaming rival, the PlayStation. On the same day that Xbox announced the test launch for the Console Streaming service, Sony (the manufacturers of the PlayStation) announced that PlayStation Vue, the live TV streaming service for the popular console platform, will be shutting down on January 30, 2020.
According to the press release, Sony revealed that they would be shutting down the streaming service. They claim to be dissatisfied with the pace of change that the pay-TV industry has witnessed, even as content continued to rise and costs piled up.
As the company puts it, they will now be hoping to focus on where their strengths lie far above their competition—core gaming.
Although disappointing, the news of Vue’s closure won’t be so much of a surprise. There have been reports that Sony was looking to get a buyer for the platform, with several reports pointing towards a possible partnership with American Internet TV service fuboTV. The deal would have seen fuboTV take control of the underlying technology of the platform, as well as its subscriber base that spans about 500,000 players.
What do you think of the two consoles introducing streaming? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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