Microsoft’s Game Streaming Service Reportedly Called Rio

When it comes to its competitors, Redmond has one immediate and remarkable advantage. Thanks in no small parts to its Xbox line of console, gaming is one area where Microsoft has Google, Apple and friends thoroughly beat.

The House of Windows is also well ahead in the cloud arena with Windows Azure, though Google also finds itself competing in this particular market.

Anyway, add two and two together, and you get video game streaming. Reports emerged last month that Microsoft was working on a way to stream its older console games to new hardware — in other words, Xbox 360 games to PC and Windows Phone.

Sony is already working on such an endeavor, with its Gaikai streaming service.

Not the one to be left behind, Microsoft has jumped into the mix of things, and managed to stream Halo 4 to a Windows Phone handset — a Lumia 520 to be exact — with a serviceable latency of 45ms. The company also managed to stream the game to a Surface tablet.

Now some new information on this regard claims that the streaming service is to be called Rio.

Paul Thurrott managed to uncover some information in this regard:

“The firm noted that latency was down to 45 milliseconds, which is probably OK for simple single-player gaming but is in fact pretty high for real-time multiplayer gaming. But here’s a secret benefit of this technology: Microsoft might use this to solve the backward-compatibility problem of the Xbox One, which cannot play Xbox 360 games: It could simply stream these titles to customers.”

Microsoft, obviously, has a hive of 300,000 servers that it uses for cloud computing, which it can put them to great use to offer a video game streaming service that streams games to Windows Phone handsets, Surface and other Windows tablets, and the good old PC.

If this service does indeed go live, it will probably be sometime later next year — maybe even in 2015, considering there are still a few optimizations the company has in mind.

But hey, at least this meaty little rumor provided an opportunity to use the image above, so that’s a win!

Do you guys think this could be Microsoft’s secret weapon in the tablet wars, particularly if it can package this service as an annual subscription? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Mike Greenway

    A similar thought process concluded that their was life on mars (Percival Lowell). Take the smallest bit of fact, add wishful thinking and poof, an imaginary world. I’m sorry, but this is too much of a stretch for my imagination.