MicrosoftXboxMorgan Brown, a software engineer on the Game Streaming team, explained: “The Xbox has supported keyboard and mouse for a few years now, and we’re working hard to add it to PC users’ streaming. But you can start adding it to your of games, users who have a keyboard and mouse plugged into their console will appreciate it.”
Microsoft Flight Simulator boss Jorg Neumann has previously revealed that adding mouse and keyboard support to Xbox cloud gaming could come this summer. Since Microsoft is encouraging developers to start thinking more about mouse and keyboard support for Xbox games streaming to PC, we’re likely to start seeing this happening soon.
It will allow Xbox cloud gaming users to stream Xbox games using a mouse and keyboard instead of PC games. We can see games like Sea of Thieves, Minecraft, Halo: Infinite, and even Fortnite support mouse and keyboard via Xbox cloud gaming. The list of Xbox games that support mouse and keyboard is still relatively small, though. It will be especially useful when Microsoft expands its Xbox cloud gaming library later this year.
In addition to mouse and keyboard support, Microsoft is giving developers more ways to improve streaming latency in their games. Microsoft has been working on a new display detail API that can save up to 72 milliseconds of latency overall. This is achieved by using direct capture, which reproduces the hardware characteristics in software to eliminate the latency of VSync and double or triple buffering, and eventelevisionThe delay caused by the required scaling of the picture.
Both scaling and artifacts add extra latency to game streaming, and many games already support direct capture to improve their performance on Xbox cloud gaming. Latency can drop to 2-12ms, compared to 8-74ms via a traditional display pipeline. However, there are some limitations. Direct capture only supports a maximum resolution of 1440p, and does not yet support dynamic resolution or HDR.
Resolution limitations are not an issue for most game developers now, as Xbox cloud gaming downscales games to 720p on mobile and 1080p on PC and web. The new Xbox TV app also doesn’t support 1440p or4Ktimetable.
Latency improvements are key to game streaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming, and as Direct Capture shows, it’s not just a matter of reducing network latency. NVIDIA launched its RTX 3080 GeForce Now-level last year with impressive latency improvements. NVIDIA built its own Adaptive Sync technology, which changes game rendering to match synced displays, and allows GeForce Now to sync streaming games to any 60Hz or 120Hz display.
NVIDIA’s Adaptive Sync technology also reduces some of the buffering between the server-side CPU and GPU, and the end result is some impressive lag improvements over Google Stadia or Xbox cloud gaming.