Smartphone Gaming | T-Mobile, Microsoft Partner on Project xCloud Game Streaming

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T-Mobile and Microsoft have announced a technical partnership to deliver the future of gaming in the U.S. with Project xCloud, beginning next month.

The companies are working together to optimize the game streaming experience in the U.S. and learn more about the way gamers play games on mobile devices by streaming popular Xbox console titles over LTE.

The deal combines Microsoft’s expertise in cloud and gaming with the strength and reach of T-Mobile’s LTE network today and vision for broad and deep 5G in the future. The public preview of Project xCloud will enable consumers to experience Xbox games streaming over LTE to a smartphone or tablet.

“Mobile game streaming is the future and has the potential to unlock console-quality game play anywhere. I for one want to be at the forefront of that revolution driving it forward,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer at T-Mobile. “That’s why Microsoft chose T-Mobile and we answered … so T-Mobile customers can be some of the first to give this revolutionary service a try and to make sure our network is primed for the mobile game streaming future!”

Project xCloud is Microsoft’s game streaming technology that empowers gamers to play console-quality games anywhere they are, on the mobile and tablet devices they already own. Microsoft’s approach to game streaming combines nearly 40 years of gaming experience with resources and investments from across the company, including Azure’s cloud footprint and an array of content from Xbox Game Studios.

The technical partnership allows both companies to work together to better optimize the gaming experience for players in the U.S. Supported by T-Mobile’s newest, most powerful LTE signal, 600 MHz, cloud gaming will let gamers experience console-quality games on their smartphones and tablets from virtually anywhere they want to play. No signal goes farther or is more reliable.

“We chose T-Mobile as our technical partner for the Project xCloud preview in the US to leverage their mobile expertise as we embark on the next phase of our cloud gaming journey,” said Kareem Choudhry, Corporate Vice President, Project xCloud. “T-Mobile’s strong network performance, excitement for gaming, and partnership will help us better understand how to meet the needs of gamers.”

Starting in October, Microsoft will invite a limited number of players into the Project xCloud public preview to stream popular Xbox titles over T-Mobile’s advanced LTE network to their smartphones and tablets. Starting with Android, the preview will include Gears 5, Halo 5: Guardians, Sea of Thieves and Killer Instinct with more titles and devices coming over time.

Microsoft will combine its expertise in gaming with the reach of T-Mobile’s advanced nationwide LTE network and extensive experience in streaming services to leverage learnings from the U.S. Project xCloud preview and ensure they are delivering the best game streaming experience to customers.

The Un-carrier envisions a future of gaming that’s even more robust and immersive with broad and deep nationwide 5G from the New T-Mobile, if regulators approve the proposed merger with Sprint. While game streaming will work on today’s LTE networks, broad and deep nationwide 5G opens the future possibility for an enhanced gaming experience with cutting-edge game streaming technology such as augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

T-Mobile delivers network performance that’s neck-and-neck with competitors and now covers 326 million people with LTE — 99% of Americans. That’s all thanks to unprecedented investments in people and technology over the last three years, including adding one million square miles of new LTE coverage, adding more than 25,000 towers and cell sites, hiring more than 3,000 full time engineers and upgrading every single LTE cell site across the entirety of the network to deliver LTE-Advanced speeds and performance. To achieve these network enhancements, T-Mobile spent nearly $30 billion, with $7.99 billion dedicated to purchasing 600 MHz airwaves covering 100% of the U.S. — the company’s largest investment ever.

Gamers can sign up for a chance to participate in the Project xCloud public preview at T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers will need an unlimited data plan, a smartphone or tablet running Android 6.0 or higher with Bluetooth 4.0; a Microsoft account; and a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One Wireless Controller.