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SK Telecom, Microsoft to expand cloud gaming service in Korea

From left: Kareem Choudhry, vice president of cloud gaming at Microsoft; Jeon Jin-soo, vice president and head of the 5GX service business division at SK Telecom; and Catherine Gluckstein, general manager of Project xCloud, pose for pictures at Microsoft’s Seoul office, Tuesday.
From left: Kareem Choudhry, vice president of cloud gaming at Microsoft; Jeon Jin-soo, vice president and head of the 5GX service business division at SK Telecom; and Catherine Gluckstein, general manager of Project xCloud, pose for pictures at Microsoft’s Seoul office, Tuesday.

SK Telecom said Tuesday it has reached a deal with Microsoft to expand the service of 5G-based cloud gaming platform Project xCloud here. 

The two firms hope to increase the number of games available on the platform. An alpha test is planned before the official launch -- the beta test was only opened to a select few.

In September, SKT became an exclusive operating partner of Microsoft’s cloud gaming service in Korea. Since the company started the test run in October, the mobile carrier has seen the per capita use here is about 1.75 times longer than that of users in the US and UK. The number of users revisiting the platform was around three times greater than that of US and UK users combined.

Backed by the latest success, the two companies have decided to increase the number of games to 85, from the previous 29. Around 40 games will have their Korean premiere, and games by local producers -- like Black Desert and Tera -- will start their services on the platform.

Meanwhile, Microsoft plans to launch PC and iOS versions of xCloud this year. The application is currently available only on Android-powered smart devices.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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