Xbox cloud service will soon support mouse and keyboard

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Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service, xCloud, will be getting a few upgrades in the near future. The company has started encouraging developers to add mouse and keyboard support to more of their xCloud-enabled games and reduce latency on the service, Microsoft said during its Xbox Game Streaming discussion at xFest.

The mouse and keyboard support feature has not yet reached xCloud PC users. But Microsoft says developers can start adding support for their games now, so the feature will activate on Xbox Cloud Gaming as soon as it’s available.

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Xbox Cloud Gaming is included with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions and allows gamers to stream Xbox games to mobile devices, PCs, and select TVs. While not every title in the Game Pass library is compatible with xCloud, there are dozens of titles on the list that players can stream from both Microsoft and third-party developers.

Microsoft also updated developers on the company’s new plans to reduce latency for game streaming. With its new Display Details API, Microsoft reduces some of the heaviest and slowest streaming processes. This new process uses direct capture to stream the game instead of Microsoft’s previous, more complicated display pipeline process.

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If developers use this direct capture streaming method, the end result could be a latency reduction of up to 72ms, according to Microsoft. The downside is that the technology doesn’t yet support HDR, and currently has a maximum resolution of 1440p, and will run at 720p on phones and 1080p on PCs and browsers. While these are downgrades from the older process’s 4k streaming, the latency trade-off should still be a significant improvement and Microsoft says it’s working to increase the quality possible on the new system.

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Many of these features that Microsoft discussed during the Xbox Game Streaming presentation at its xFest developer event won’t be available immediately, but these big Xbox Cloud Gaming improvements should be right around the corner.

The post Xbox cloud service will soon have mouse and keyboard support that first appeared on Polygon.

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