Microsoft is currently at an odd position with the Xbox Series X. Unlike its rival Sony, the company is sending a different message to the gaming industry. While next-generation gaming is generally expected to focus on improvements related to visuals, gameplay, and experience, this does not appear to be the case with the upcoming system. Instead, it is promoting parity and cross-generation compatibility between all its platforms. Now, it seems that Project xCloud is part of its marketing push for 2020.

The Xbox team confirmed plans to allocate resources in order to develop its cloud gaming service called Project xCloud. Sony has been offering its own game streaming platform called PlayStation now for years. However, Microsoft hopes to set a new standard when it comes to quality and performance as indicated by the favourable results of its public beta in late 2019. Given that mobile devices such as smartphones will be supported, third-party accessories are likely essential for tactile controls.

Microsoft's latest update regarding Project xCloud reveals several third-party accessories that have been awarded the Designed for Xbox rating. This means the products will work with the company's gaming platforms and services. These are from reputable brands such as Razer, 8bitdo, and PowerA which are all available for preorder now. Sources note that some of these are reworks of existing products that now have the Xbox branding and improved features intended for the launch of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Latency is perhaps the biggest problem when it comes to cloud gaming, but Microsoft is reportedly working with major internet service providers as well as telecommunication companies. This is to ensure that Project xCloud will be optimised to run on their systems to give players an enjoyable and immersive experience.

Xbox Project xCloud announcement reveals supported accessories
Microsoft's latest update about Project xCloud reveals several third-party accessories that have been awarded the Designed for Xbox rating. Photo: Microsoft

Moreover, this is where the controllers actually come into play, as touchscreens are not as accurate as buttons and analogue sticks on a gamepad. Some of the models offered such as the ones from Razer and PowerA can expand and grip the top and bottom frame of compatible smartphones or tablets. There's also a more traditional form factor for those who want a more familiar feel. As for Audio, SteelSeries introduces the Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox.