Microsoft is using xCloud tech to create Xbox dev kits in the cloud

By Sherif Saed, Thursday, 9 July 2020 12:22 GMT

Microsoft’s new xCloud-based tech enables developers to test their games without having access to physical Xbox dev kits.

Microsoft has announced that it’s using Project xCloud to allow developers to create and test games remotely. Most of Microsoft’s development tools are designed to be run locally, and those that offer remote access only do so within the office environment.

But, seeing as everyone is working from home right now, Microsoft decided to basically allow developers to remotely tune and test games on development kits that sit in its server racks. Project xCloud was designed for low-latency gameplay for customers, but the same tech can also be utilised to offer cloud dev kits.

“By giving developers access to our PC Content Test App (PC CTA) they can remotely connect to their Xbox Development Kits from their PC, allowing them to test, play and iterate as if they were in the office. It also prevents them from having to download daily builds to local hardware in the home, which can often take hours,” Microsoft explained.

Several major first and third-party studios have actually been using this tech since it went live, including Infinity Ward, Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Rare, Turn 10, Undead Labs and Eidos Montreal.

Rare’s technical director, Sean Davies, explained that not having easy access to dev kits meant that developers had to limit the number of builds being tested every day, simply because Rare has to wait for the whole team to upload/download it every time there’s a change.

“Using the PC Content Test app enables us to bring back our old workflows wholesale. Installs to kits on-site are now minutes rather than the hours it takes to download remotely, and we have the flexibility to react when something goes wrong,” Davies explained.

Project xCloud’s consumer-facing version continues to open up to more testers worldwide, with the service reportedly launching later this year.

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