If you know “Project xCloud”, you will know what we are talking about. For the unawares: this was the cloud gaming service that Microsoft had taken years to develop. It has finally launched the gaming service – “Xbox Cloud Gaming.”
So why is the gaming world exhilarated?
Xbox games had an extremely niche history as far as playing the games was concerned. Earlier, to play any Xbox games, you would have to buy a gaming PC or own a gaming console. With the launch of Xbox Cloud Gaming, things have changed. You are now free to play Xbox games anywhere you want to if there is an internet connection.
Xbox Cloud Gaming, which is available as a component of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Subscription, is true to its word and is available on all platforms. While Microsoft first launched the game for Android-only mode, it is now available on iOS and PCs. What’s more, it is inbuilt into Xbox consoles and Windows 11 platform.
Understanding Xbox Cloud Gaming With Xbox Game Pass
Project xCloud, which came to be finally known as Xbox Cloud Gaming, is Microsoft’s maiden entry into the world of cloud gaming. Thus offering gamers the chance to play their favourite gaming titles anywhere they wish to. They could play the games on their mobile devices, consoles, or desktops.
With the launch of Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft has entered the league of Nvidia GeForce Now and Google Stadia, which are already established players in the cloud gaming arena. If you are looking forward to playing the Xbox Cloud games, you don’t have to download them. Rather, they are played directly from the Microsoft servers. The configuration now includes Xbox Series X hardware that streams up to 60fps and at 1080p and ensures the highest quality of streaming at a gamut of devices at the lowest latency.
Certain games stream at up to 120fps or with amplified graphics with faster uploading. However, this feature is limited to certain games, and even popular games like Microsoft’s own Forza Horizon do not come with the said upgrade.
Where Can You Play Xbox Cloud Gaming?
As usual, the gaming service is available on Windows 11 and Windows 10 via the Xbox app. Though Microsoft initially launched the gaming service on Android devices to play the Xbox Cloud Gaming through the Xbox Game Pass app, the company gradually shared the facility with the iOS platform. You can now access the xCloud game on your iPhones and iPads through the web browser Xbox.com/play.
Playing cloud games has become even easier on Xbox as it is loaded right into the Game Pass app on Series X/S consoles and Xbox One for Ultimate subscribers. Ultimate subscribers could initially try various games before downloading them.
With Cloud Gaming, gamers can immediately go into multiplayer mode and enjoy playing with family and friends.
Microsoft has recently introduced console support in November 2021 and, as per the company, will roll out the updates in the coming weeks. So, if you are unable to see the update on your device, please keep calm. The update is on the way!
What Is The Price Of Xbox Cloud Gaming?
If you were to ask about the price of Xbox Cloud Gaming, in a way, it is free, depending on how you see it. Microsoft does not charge for the Xbox Cloud Gaming games, but it has included its Game Pass Ultimate Subscription services.
Game Pass Ultimate Subscription costs a subscriber GBP 10.99/ USD 14.99 per month. However, the subscription gives you access to a greater library of games on Xbox and PC, an Xbox Live Gold subscription, and a free EA Play subscription. Subscription to Xbox Live Gold gives you free games, online multiplayer, and a gamut of discounts and deals on gaming services.
Meanwhile, it is not clear if Microsoft would ever allow Xbox Cloud Gaming or xCloud as a standalone product with a similar cost as the cloud gaming service from Sony called Playstation Now. Playstation Now charges GBP 8.99 / USD 9.99 per month. Microsoft is, however, considering various subscription options to be offered to Xbox Game Pass.
Countries Supporting Xbox Cloud Gaming
While many are excited about xCloud, Microsoft’s cloud gaming is available only in 26 countries: Austria, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Czech Republic, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Slovakia, South Korea, Switzerland, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom.
What Are The Controllers For Cloud Gaming On Game Pass
Intending to keep the gaming experience simple, Microsoft has allowed several existing gaming controllers. One of the easiest gaming controls is the Xbox Wireless Controller, which can be used either with the Xbox One version or Xbox Series X if these versions have Bluetooth support.
You do not have to fret if your device does not have Bluetooth functionality. You can use any third-party Bluetooth controller to enjoy the services. However, it would always be wise to confirm it from the Xbox Store, which would give the details of all the Microsoft approved controllers. This list would include MOGA XP5-X and Razer Kishi.
How Different Are Xbox Cloud Games On The iOS
Barring the iOS platform, Microsoft offers Xbox Cloud Games through the Game Pass app. For the iOS platform, Xbox Cloud Games are available through the web browser that runs on Safari on Xbox.com/play.
Microsoft’s decision to launch the web-based version of the xCloud service came after its differences with Apple over creating an app for Xbox Cloud Gaming. Apple’s decision to not create an app was that Xbox Cloud Gaming had a gamut of games that had not gone through Apple’s approval policy. They had been very clear that every game that was to be played on the iOS platform had to go through their policy of review and approval.
While Apple was very strict about the necessary guidelines that needed to be followed, Microsoft was quick to respond that Apple was stopping consumers from experiencing Xbox Cloud Gaming service and gaming subscription benefits.
After a lot of persuasions, Apple agreed, but with conditions: that every game that Microsoft offered under Xbox Cloud Gaming service should have a standalone game app in the App Store. The said condition defeated the purpose, and Microsoft released xCloud as a web-based version for iOS, outside the jurisdiction of Apple’s guidelines.
Speed And System Requirements
Android devices: Android version 6 or later; 7 Mbps download speed
Apple devices: iOS version 14.4 or later; 20 Mbps (iPad) and 10 Mbps (iPhone) download speed
PC: Windows 10 update October 2020; 20 Mbps download speed