Xbox Cloud Gaming (previously xCloud) launches today in 22 countries as part of Microsoft's game subscription service. However, it is still labeled beta and is only available on mobile Android.
Xbox Cloud Gaming
After having teased it for almost 2 years – as "the future of gaming" – Microsoft's game streaming technology has arrived. Cloud gaming can stream games over the internet, just like a movie from Netflix. In theory it would enable you to play PC/console games on any connected device with a screen.
Xbox Cloud Gaming will be folded into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Microsoft's existing $15/month subscription game service with 172 games, including Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Halo 5 (full list in the table). Gamers can either download games onto their Xbox console or bring games with them as streaming games.
However, the launch is not exactly what Microsoft had hoped for. Xbox Cloud Gaming will initially be available only on Android phones and tablets. After some back and forth, Apple now says that subscription game services like Microsoft's will be allowed on Apple TV and iOS devices, but only if they adhere to current app rules. Microsoft says that it "remains a bad experience for customers".
The Xbox Game Pass app will not be available on any Smart TV platforms either. At this time, game streaming is not even supported on Windows PCs.
Microsoft acknowledges the shortcomings and is still labelling it beta even after all this time. It is no longer touting it as a service for "billions of gamers" either.
- "Starting 15 September, Project xCloud is graduating to Beta and will now be available for millions of players around the world, included as a part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription at no additional charge," said Microsoft.
Check out the FAQ below for more information or visit xbox.com.
Xbox Cloud Gaming FAQ
In Microsoft's own words:
How is cloud gaming related to Project xCloud? Is it the same?
Project xCloud was the name of our public technology preview for cloud gaming that began in September 2019. After gathering feedback from players from around the world during the preview, we built the technology into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate so you can play 100+ Xbox games on your Android mobile phone or tablet, directly from the cloud.
I noticed the page says cloud gaming is in beta. What does that mean?
We are early on in our multi-year journey to bring Xbox games to mobile devices from the cloud. As we embark in this first stage, we are launching as a beta to continue to receive gamers’ feedback and build the features that will provide the best gaming experience.
Is cloud gaming available in my area?
Cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is available in 22 countries across North America and Europe, plus South Korea. This is the first stage of a multi-year journey and we will be adding more countries over time.
What do I need to play games on my mobile device from the cloud?
To play Xbox games from the cloud you will need:
i. An active Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership in a supported market
ii. An Xbox Bluetooth-enabled controller or another supported controller
iii. An Android mobile phone or tablet with version Android 6.0 or higher
iv. A Wi-Fi / LTE data connection with at least 10Mbps down-speed
v. The Xbox Game Pass Android app, available from Samsung Galaxy and Google Play app stores.
What games are available to play?
Most titles in the Xbox Game Pass library are available to play on your mobile device directly from the cloud. For an up-to-date list, please visit the game library.
How much data will cloud gaming consume?
Exact data consumption will depend on usage. Please consult your ISP or mobile data provider for more information on your data plan.
Do you support touch controls?
Some games such as Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Gears 5 may be played with touch controls. Over time we expect more games will have optional touch controls.
How can I stay up to date on the latest with cloud gaming?
We are early on in our multi-year journey to bring Xbox games to mobile devices from the cloud. Stay tuned to Xbox Wire for more information as we continue to build the future of cloud gaming together.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate game library
A Plague Tale: Innocence
Age of Wonders: Planetfall
ARK: Survival Evolved
Batman: Arkham Knight
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Bridge Constructor Portal
Children of Morta
Crackdown 3: Campaign
Dead by Daylight
Dead Island Definitive Edition
Deliver us the moon
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep & Forsaken expansion (September 22)
Double Kick Heroes
Dungeon of the Endless
Enter The Gungeon
Farming Simulator 17
Felix the Reaper
Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour
For the King
Forza Horizon 4
Frostpunk: Console Edition
Gears of War 1: Ultimate Edition
Gears of War 4
Gears of War 5
Golf with Your Friends
Halo 5: Guardians
Halo Wars 1: Definitive Edition
Halo Wars 2
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Halo: Spartan Assault
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hollow Knight (Renewal)
Hot Shot Racing
Human Fall Flat
Journey to the Savage Planet
Katana ZERO (Coming soon)
Killer Instinct DE
Lonely Mountains: Downhill
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
Metro 2033 Redux
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
Mortal Kombat X (Not available in Korea)
Mount & Blade: Warband
Munchkin: Quacked Quest
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
My Time At Portia
New Super Lucky’s Tale
Night in the Woods (Coming soon)
No Man’s Sky
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
ReCore: Definitive Edition
Remnant: From the Ashes
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
Rise & Shine
River City Girls (Coming soon)
Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition
Shadow Warrior 2
Slay the Spire
Sniper Elite 4
State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
Stranger Things 3: The Game
Streets of Rage 4
Streets of Rogue
Tell Me Why Episode 1 – 3
The Bard’s Tale IV: Directors Cut
The Bard’s Tale Remastered and Resnarkled
The Bard’s Tale Trilogy
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics
The Elder Scrolls Online
The Gardens Between
The Jackbox Party Pack 4
The Long Dark
The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game
The Outer Worlds
The Surge 2
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Escapists 2
The Talos Principle
The Turing Test
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier – Episode 1 through 5
The Walking Dead: Michonne – Episode 1 – 3
The Walking Dead: Season Two
theHunter: Call of the Wild
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
Totally Reliable Delivery Service
Touhou Luna Nights
Tracks – The Train Set Game
Train Sim World 2020
Two Point Hospital
Untitled Goose Game
Warhammer Vermintide 2 (Coming soon)
Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut
We Happy Few
West of Dead
Wizard of Legend
World War Z
Yakuza Kiwami 2