Xbox Cloud Gaming gets mouse and keyboard support and latency improvements

Microsoft is preparing to add mouse and keyboard support to its Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) service that streams Xbox games to TVs, PCs, mobile devices and more. software giant Addition raised Earlier this year, and now we’re encouraging game developers to get ready for mouse and keyboard support and some big latency improvements on Xbox Cloud Gaming soon.

“Xbox has been supporting keyboard and mouse for a few years now, and we’ve been working on adding it to streaming for PC users,” Morgan Brown explains, a software engineer on the Xbox Game Broadcasting team at Microsoft. “But you can start adding it to your game now and keyboard and mouse users will appreciate it. It will light up during the broadcast once you are done adding it.”

Microsoft Flight Simulator President Jörg Neumann previously teased The addition of mouse and keyboard support on Xbox Cloud Gaming may appear this summer. As Microsoft encourages developers to start thinking more about mouse and keyboard support for Xbox games streaming to PC, we’ll likely start to see this appear soon.

It will allow Xbox Cloud Gaming users to stream Xbox games, but not PC games, using a mouse and keyboard. We can see games like sea ​​of ​​thievesAnd the Maine CraftAnd the infinite auraeven fortnite They all support mouse and keyboard through Xbox Cloud Gaming. The list of Xbox games that support mouse and keyboard is still relatively small. It will be especially useful when Microsoft expands Xbox Cloud game library later this year.

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Xbox developers will get new APIs to improve streaming latency.
Image: Microsoft

Besides mouse and keyboard support, Microsoft is also offering developers more ways to improve streaming latency in their games. Microsoft is working on a new API for rendering details, which can save up to 72 milliseconds of response time overall. This is achieved using Direct Capture, which reproduces hardware features in the software to eliminate VSync waiting time, double or triple buffering, and even scaling required for TVs.

Scaling and artifacts both add more latency to game streaming, and many games already support live capture to improve their performance on Xbox Cloud Gaming. Response time can drop as low as 2-12ms, compared to 8-74ms across the traditional display pipeline. There are some limitations, though. Direct Capture only supports a maximum resolution of 1440p, and does not support dynamic resolution or HDR yet.

Resolution limitation won’t be an issue for most game developers at the moment, as Xbox Cloud Gaming shrinks games down to 720p on mobile and 1080p on PC and the web. Microsoft eventually expects higher resolution support, but no 1440p or 4K support timeline for The new Xbox TV app. “This is something we expect to change over time, based on different devices, network conditions, and improvements to the broadcast stack,” Brown explains. The tools will soon be available for developers to test their games and see how they can support Direct Capture.

Direct Capture improves streaming latency in Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Image: Microsoft

Latency improvements are key to game streaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming, and as Direct Capture makes clear, it’s not just about reducing network latency. Nvidia launched a file RTX 3080 GeForce is now up to par Last year, with amazing improvements in response time. Nvidia has built in its own Adaptive Sync technology, which changes the way a game is displayed to match a sync screen and allows GeForce Now to sync streaming games to any 60Hz or 120Hz screen.

Nvidia’s Adaptive Sync also reduces some caching between the CPU and GPU on the server side, and the end result is some Great latency improvements Via Google Stadia or Xbox Cloud Gaming. nvidia until Claims to beat Xbox Series X. It runs natively at 60fps thanks to GeForce Now support of 120fps.

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