After years of hearing about the fabled xCloud streaming, we're now just over a month away from the full release of Xbox's mobile streaming service.
The basics of xCloud are that it uses a datacentre filled with Xbox hardware that allows you to stream games to your devices remotely. This could be a huge step forwards in making games cheaper for more people, and certainly seems like a viable alternative to owning a console, assuming it is done well.
Project xCloud went through a lengthy beta testing phase, of which you can read our review for here, but Microsoft has now announced it will be coming to everyone pretty soon...
What is Xbox's Project xCloud?
xCloud is a streaming service for games, or at least that's the short version of things. It essentially does all of the processing for you in a separate place, then allows you to play Xbox Game Pass titles such as Sea of Thieves and The Outer Worlds on your phone.
That's impressive on its own for sure, but it also attempts to do this without losing any fidelity or precision. By using Azure cloud technology to power its streaming service, Microsoft is aiming for gameplay to be as seamless as it would be on console.
Project xCloud release date
The service has been in a preview stage for a quite a while now, allowing those with the right Android devices to sign up and test out the service.
However, we now know that xCloud will release as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate from September 15 as a beta for members using Android devices in the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States
Project xCloud price
There is currently no way to buy Project xCloud by itself, as it comes as part of a bundle with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which you can buy here.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes the PC Game Pass, the Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, all for just £10.99 a month. This subscription will include Project xCloud from September 15, for no extra charge.
There's no word on whether there are tiers to the xCloud streaming, and whether the Ultimate bundle restricts your streaming to one device at a time, but we'll update this page with more information when it comes.
Project xCloud games
Upon launch, Project xCloud will include over 100 eligible Xbox Game Pass games.
During the beta, xCloud included plenty of first-party and third-party Xbox titles, including the following:
- A Plague Tale: Innocence
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- Batman: Arkham Knight
- Bleeding Edge
- Costume Quest 2
- Crackdown 3
- Destiny 2
- F1 2019
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears 5
- Halo 5
- Halo Wars 2
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
- Just Cause 4
- Madden NFL 2020
- Minecraft Dungeons
- Ori and the Blind Forest
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Quantum Break
- Sea of Thieves
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Sunset Overdrive
- State of Decay 2
- Tell Me Why
- The Outer Worlds
- The Sims 4
- Wasteland 3
- Yakuza Kiwami 2
Phil Spencer also confirmed that Halo Infinitewould come to the streaming service upon launch, writing that "when Halo Infinite launches, you and your friends can play together and immerse yourselves in the Halo universe as Master Chief—anywhere you go and across devices."
During the Xbox Games Showcase, Xbox revealed that all the upcoming first-party Xbox games are coming to Xbox Game Pass at launch. As xCloud is now part of the Game Pass family, we expect the likes of Fable, Hellblade 2, Avowed, Everwild and S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 to release onto xCloud at launch.
Indeed, the recently release blog post states Xbox has "committed to providing day-one access to new titles from Xbox Game Studios as part of Xbox Game Pass, it’s our intent to make those same games available in the cloud from the day they release."
Project xCloud accessories
Alongside the reveal of xCloud's release date, Xbox announced they have partnered with the likes of Steel Series, PowerA and Razer to deliver a lineup of 'Designed for Xbox' mobile gaming accessories.
The accessory list, which can be found here, includes controllers, clips and headsets tailored specifically for mobile gaming.
Will streaming from the cloud, like Xbox says, truly be the future of gaming? Will Sony jump into the streaming market with PS Now? Only time will tell, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as we hear more.