February 21, 2024


Sapiens Digital

Microsoft xCloud Game Streaming Launching as Free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Perk

(Credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft’s game streaming service, xCloud, will arrive first as a free perk for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members.

The company will bundle xCloud with the $14.99 monthly game pass plan in September, according to Xbox head Phil Spencer. Subscribers in the US, UK, Canada, and South Korea—where xCloud is currently supported—will be able to stream games at no extra cost. 

“Cloud gaming in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate means your games are no longer locked to the living room,” Spencer wrote in a blog post focused on the future of Xbox gaming. 

Currently, the service is available as a public preview, enabling people to play Xbox games without the need to own the console hardware. With xCloud, Microsoft is able to stream the game experience over an internet connection to your smartphone or tablet. 

xcloud being played over an Android phone(Credit: Microsoft)

The platform currently has access to about 100 games, including Devil May Cry 5, Gears 5, and Soul Calibur VI. But how Microsoft plans to offer xCloud has been less clear. Will it be a standalone platform like Google’s Stadia, where you buy the games individually? Or will it arrive via an existing service? 

On Thursday, Microsoft indicated it’ll be the latter. The company’s Netflix-like Xbox Game Pass program currently lets you download and install a title to your Xbox or PC. But with xCloud, subscribers will be able stream over 100 supported games, which will eventually include the upcoming Halo Infinite title, Spencer wrote in today’s blog post.

“And because Xbox Live connects all across devices, you can play along with the nearly 100 million Xbox Live players around the world,” he added. 

For now, the company is remaining mum on how else it’ll offer the cloud gaming service. But in the past, Microsoft has said you’ll be able to stream games from xCloud that you already own for your Xbox, removing the need to buy the game again. 

Unfortunately, xCloud does have some limitations. It’s currently only available to Android mobile devices, although iOS and Windows PC support is planned. To adequately stream the content, a 10Mbps or higher internet connection is needed. The public preview also calls for the player to own a Bluetooth controller.

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