Last year, Microsoft announced that it was working on a new Xbox streaming device for cloud gaming. Earlier this month, the prototype Xbox streamer leaked out in a tweet from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, seen in the image above. Now, during an interview at The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference, Phil Spencer said the project is “years away.” When asked about the streaming device, Spencer said “Keystone was the codename of something we were incubating internally, which was … a streaming console, so there’s no local gameplay, low-cost, plug it into a TV, and you’d be able to stream Xbox games. In the late spring, we pivoted to working with Samsung. We put an app on Samsung TVs that let you play Xbox games, and I still have the prototype; it sits on the shelf behind my computer.” He then later said “Will we do a streaming device at some point? I suspect we will, but I think it’s years away.”
Amazon first launched its Luna cloud gaming service in October 2020 with an invite-only program. The service then became available to all Fire TV owners without needing an invite a few months later. There are have been other ways to use the service without an invite since, but now Amazon is dropping all invite requirements for Amazon Luna in the US. If you haven’t tried the service yet, there has never been a better time since Prime members can now play a selection of games completely for free without needing to sign up for a free trial. If you don’t have a game controller, you can also now use a virtual controller through your phone before shelling out for a physical controller, like the Luna controller, which is currently on sale for $49.99. Amazon Luna games can be played through Fire TVs, Fire tablets, Windows PCs, Chromebooks, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android phones.
One of the new features announced today for Amazon Luna is the ability to stream your gaming sessions live to Twitch. The new live broadcasting capability is available on PCs and Macs, but also on Fire TVs as well. When playing Luna on a Fire TV, you’ll be shown a QR code to scan with your phone that allows you to set up the Twitch screen. Once set up, you’ll have the option to use your phone as a webcam and mic to overlay on top of your gameplay stream.
Amazon Luna, the cloud gaming service that can be played through Fire TVs, phones, computers, tablets, and other devices, is having a big day of new announcements and one of those announcements is the addition of a new Prime Gaming Channel to Luna which allows Prime members the ability to play a selection of games completely for free. Each month, new free games will be rotated in starting with 4 games today and a fifth game being made available in about a week. There’s nothing to sign up for. Just launch the Luna app or head to the Luna site through a browser and start playing. You don’t even need a physical game controller thanks to a new virtual controller options. Read more ›
Nvidia has announced a new high-end tier for its GeForce Now cloud gaming service. The “RTX 3080” plan, as it’s being called, promises a dedicated gaming rig in the cloud with an RTX 3080 graphics card that delivers up to 1440p resolution and 120 fps on Mac and PCs. However, exclusively on Shield TV and Shield TV Pro devices, the resolution can go up to 4K with HDR. Nvidia says they do plan to eventually bring 4K cloud gaming to other devices, such as PCs with GeForce graphics cards and other Android TV devices. The new RTX 3080 tier isn’t cheap at $99 per 6 months, plus you’re still buying the games individually. The new service is expected to launch in the US next month and in Europe in December. Existing Founders and Priority subscribers can preorder now.
There have been rumors of Microsoft releasing its own hardware for cloud gaming through its Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) service for many years but now it’s actually happening. The company announced that it is building a standalone streaming device that can be plugged into a TV for xCloud gaming. It also announced that TV apps for xCloud, which currently only supports mobile devices, are coming soon. Read more ›
If you’ve been following AFTVnews for a while, you may remember when Playcast Media began beta testing their new cloud gaming service on the Amazon Fire TV nearly a year ago. It was a big deal and reviewing the service proved it to be a very enjoyable experience. Playcast has now merged with GameFly, the video game rental company, to officially launch GameFly Streaming exclusively on the Fire TV. The service promises to “bring high end PC and console games directly to your Fire TV.” Cloud gaming works by running games remotely on high end servers and streaming the game’s video to your Fire TV. Your Fire TV then sends your controller input back to the server running the game. The back-and-forth transmission of controller input and video stream happens in a fraction of a second in order to make you feel like you’re playing the game locally. Read more ›
Amazon Game Studios has just released The Unmaking and, in doing so, has entered the cloud gaming business. The game, which for now is only compatible with Amazon’s three latest Fire tablets, renders much of itself on Amazon’s cloud servers in order to create action sequences involving thousands of enemies and destructive environments. A feat which is difficult to accomplish by the latest gaming consoles and impossible on mobile platforms. The release is being dubbed a preview and is available through January 31st 2015.
It’s unfortunate the game, for the time being, isn’t available on the Fire TV since the Fire TV has proven itself a very capable cloud gaming console. Playcast, a cloud gaming service, launched their open trial for the Fire TV in July. The service performs great and uses Amazon’s servers as their backend. With the caveat of a fast internet connection that cloud gaming requires, it makes sense for Amazon to bring this type of gaming to the Fire TV which is likely to be connected to a fast home internet connection.
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, Cloud Gaming
Yesterday, Playcast Media announced the start of their Cloud Gaming beta trial for the Fire TV. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, cloud gaming allows you to a use a graphically weak device like the Fire TV to play high-end video games remotely running on a server. The advantage of cloud gaming over traditional local gaming is the ability to play games on inexpensive hardware that would normally require expensive dedicated game consoles like the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. Read on for an explanation of the service, what is offered, and my initial impressions. Read more ›
Playcast Media has developed a Fire TV app for their cloud gaming service. The app starts public beta today. The service allows you to play high-end video games on the Fire TV which would normally be too computationally intensive for the Fire TV’s processor. Instead of running the games locally on the Fire TV, the games run on Playcast’s servers which stream the game’s video to your device. You can sign up for the beta trial here.