Microsoft has finally confirmed that it is indeed working with Reliance Jio for bringing its Project xCloud gaming service to India, suggesting that India-specific details, possibly including a release date and price may be revealed “soon”. This comes weeks after The Mako Reactor was the first to discover that the telcom giant has partnered with Microsoft for this purpose.
At Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in Mumbai, Reliance Industries Chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani stated in a televised interaction with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella that Jio isn’t just working with Microsoft on services for startups but with xCloud as well. While Project xCloud is slated for a 2020 release date in India, no telco partners were mentioned before this.
And while Ambani did confirm this at Microsoft’s own event, there was not a word of it from Microsoft itself at the time. That is of course, until now.
“Yes, we confirmed the news of our intent to bring Project xCloud to Indian gamers with Reliance Jio as part of our Future Decoded event in Mumbai in late February,” a spokesperson for the company tells The Mako Reactor over email. “We announced this intention to come to India at X019 London in November, and will have more news soon on how and when this will play out for your local market.”
Hopefully “more news soon” refers to release dates, pricing, games, and of course, pre-release testing to give users an idea of what to expect when the service inevitably launches.
Oddly though, there was no mention from Microsoft of this development in any of its press releases regarding its Future Decoded event. There’s no reference to it on the official Xbox site either. This makes Microsoft’s statement over email its first actual confirmation of working with Jio to bring Project xCloud to India.
With that in mind, it is a bit worrying how belated Microsoft has been with its messaging and positioning of Project xCloud and Xbox One in India, seemingly content to let its partners take the reigns. Perhaps we’ll hear more on Project xCloud’s India debut during Microsoft’s March 18 livestream.
That said, there are a host of challenges to see this through such as data caps, consistent Internet connectivity, rising Internet costs, and seamless payment options that Microsoft and Jio have to wade through. And that’s before considering that Sony may launch PS Now before the Jio-xCloud partnership bears any fruit or Google’s own plans for a Stadia launch in India.