Project xCloud running <em>Gears of War 4</em> at an E3 Microsoft Theater demonstration.

Enlarge / Project xCloud running Gears of War 4 at an E3 Microsoft Theater demonstration.

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 Halo 5. For something as sensitive to latency as a first-person shooter, seeing is believing.

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 Halo 5 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.

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