After Microsoft’s pre-E3 press conference yesterday, we got our first chance to try out Project xCloud, the cloud-based streaming gaming service the company will be launching in October. Video analysis of those hands-on tests shows response times via Wi-Fi that are practically indistinguishable from local gameplay—at least for a streaming version of .
We tried out Project xCloud on a Samsung Galaxy S8, mounted to an Xbox One controller connected via USB. The game was running on the Microsoft Theater’s Wi-Fi connection, but a Microsoft representative couldn’t comment on the bandwidth or other details of that connection.
Playing on that setup felt responsive to my fingers, running at an apparent 60fps. We didn’t have a high-end, custom-built latency testing rig to measure things precisely. But we did have an iPhone with a slow-motion camera to do some quick visual testing.
In our video tests, the time between tapping the A button and seeing a response on the smartphone screen took 16 frames of a 240fps video (or 67 milliseconds) across three subsequent tests. That’s almost imperceptibly slower than the 63ms (milliseconds) input latency Digital Foundry measured on the Xbox One version of in 2017 tests.
Testing latency of a wired Google Stadia demonstration at March’s Game Developers Conference, Digital Foundry found total latency of 166ms, compared to a low of 100ms on a 60fps PC.
We’ll of course have to hold off a final assessment until we can try out xCloud on our home networks on a variety of different games (and comparisons against those games running locally). For now, though, this early test in ideal conditions shows that responsive streaming gaming should at least be possible.