Happy Christmas, gamers! Microsoft has announced it will be bringing locally-hosted multiplayer Xbox Live services to Australians, starting today. The dedicated Xbox Live servers will provide increased reliability and stability to a range of Xbox One video games, including Forza Motorsport 5, Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
According to Microsoft, the launch of locally-hosted multiplayer services was one of the most requested features from Xbox gamers. The Australian-based servers are one of the side-benefits of the recently-launched Azure datacentres in Melbourne and Sydney.
"Today’s announcement of Australian based Xbox Live servers addresses the most requested feature from local gamers," Jeremy Hinton, Business Group Lead for Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft Australia, said in a statement. "We are excited to give our fans the best online gaming experience available, just in time for the holidays."
The local hosting of Xbox Live is expected to deliver low pings to Xbox One players around the country, although the titles that are currently supported seems pretty thin; Microsoft's announcement only mentions four games (Forza Motorsport 5, Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection.)
With that said, the use of local Azure data centres provides plenty of extra gaming potential; including superior streaming services and the ability to offload certain gaming elements to the cloud, such as additional graphics and enemy AI. The locally hosted multiplayer services officially go live today. No updates are required as supported games will automatically utilise the service.