Microsoft opens xCloud game streaming beta early on Tuesday

Microsoft is allowing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers to try its new game streaming feature (xCloud) early tomorrow, August 11th. The software giant will launch a new version of the Xbox Game Pass beta app for Android, which includes game streaming. While the game streaming feature, known previously as xCloud, will be officially available on September 15th, anyone can grab the beta app from the Google Play Store and try it early from tomorrow onward.

“As we approach the launch of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on September 15, we’re entering a limited beta period to ensure a smooth transition of the cloud gaming experience to the Xbox Game Pass app on Android,” explains a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “Existing Xbox Game Pass (Beta) app users will get the opportunity to test a subset of the available titles as we ready the experience for broader availability next month. This limited beta is critical to providing the best possible experience for members at launch and should not be considered indicative of the final experience or library.”

This game streaming beta won’t have the full 100 or more games that will be available next month, but expect around 30 or so titles to play tomorrow. Microsoft is still planning to discontinue its Project xCloud Preview on September 11th, ahead of the general launch on September 15th.

If you’re interested in trying out game streaming (xCloud) tomorrow, then you’ll need to be an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber and have the Xbox Game Pass (beta) app from the Google Play Store.

Comments

Any word on if they’re ever going to support this streaming with GamePass on Android TV? The original "Streaming" (beta) app could be sideloaded on Android TV and would work fine, but I would guess the Game Pass app would have a harder time at that since it has more features and the interface might not work so well on a TV. I used it mostly for streaming games from my Xbox in the living room to a secondary room, but it worked fine for xCloud as well.

I would guess they won’t do it, because they still want the living room device to be an Xbox, but you never know I guess.

What a sad time for me to be balls deep in the apple ecosystem

Came here to say this.
I couldn’t read much of the article over my own tears.

If only Windows Phone (Or Windows 10 Mobile) survived… I still miss it.

I was using windows on a phone long before "windows phone" was even a thing.

My first windows device that happened to be a phone was from 2005 and if the battery died it hard reset and all my data was lost.

Talk about charge anxiety.

That’s tough I don’t want to be a jerk about it but I hope more and more the facade apple has over its users is peeled back to show what a greedy corporate overlord they are.

The way they lock you all off from the world outside of the channels willing to pay them the best (or doesn’t compete with them) is just insane.

No amount of mimoji or imessage is worth the freedom they make you all give up.

I owned 1 I device in my life and that’s was a 60gb ipod which I immediately loaded full of songs exactly 1 time and threw into the glove box on my car to act as my receivers jukebox system.

And even then the 2 hours I spent with iTunes was just awful.

Just let me drag and drop my d@mn mp3’ s like normal.

I’ve been in the beta. It works well, but it’s screaming for Windows and native Chromebook apps.

Can you connect your phone to a TV?

I sometimes use the built-in casting on my phone (it’s a Samsung) to send to the TVs in my house. Nearly every TV at home and even at my work supports casting from Android phones, and I’ve played xCloud games to the TV this way when there was a game I didn’t already own or have in Game Pass and I wanted to play on a bigger screen. I haven’t had lag issues with my TVs or phone, can’t speak for the experience of others though. Windows 10 supports casting to it too, but I noticed a bit of a delay that probably would be an issue for some games. My phone can also do USB-C to HDMI to a TV or monitor, which does work, but I never tried playing xCloud doing this.

ChromeOS has a marketshare of less than 1% worldwide
Also it is a direct competitor – and Google has not exactly played fair with MS when they tried to make Windows Phone, Edge or the MS Store a thing.
I really don’t see it coming there anytime soon – but hopefully it will come to Windows and OS11 soon

The lack of PC support baffles

PC support is coming.

Not a priority as xbox owners probably have you know an Xbox to play on a big screen with.

The rest will come in time as they expand the reach of the service beyond a beta and mainly for their current Xbox users.

This is not a suprise. Currently XCloud runs on Xbox One S, which is pretty low-end machine, with most games running on 900p. This is great for phones, but not really great for your PC with high-res monitors that you sit close to. The quality wouldn’t be enough. They will probably enable PC when they move to Series X as rendering console, then they can easily hit high-quality 1080p stream (or more).

Apple will block all game streaming, xCloud and Stadia, because it shames their arcade joke.

What does Apple Arcade have to do with game streaming?

It is a competition – consumers face a choice of: pay for subscription to get phone games locally, or a subscription to have console games streamed? (you could of course have both subscriptions but as you can’t play them at once most will pick one and perhaps grab the other just for a month to get through some must-have game)

Sure, Apple’s stance is a clear anti-competitive move that is obviously illegal but it allows them to drag their feet for a while before changing it, possibly even avoiding harsh punishment.

…but expect around 30 or so titles to play tomorrow.

By my count the Streaming Preview has 104 games in it. Why would they reduce it to 30 for a beta of a beta that’s already in beta?

Possibly due to rights (maybe some games were licensed only in beta and haven’t had the contracts completed yet for the main release, which this is effectively leading to), or maybe with a whole bunch of new users suddenly having access they are looking to keep the number of moving parts to a minimum to ensure it scales correctly, then ratchet the number of games back up.

Streaming rights and beta stuff is obviously super touchy.

Nvidia service was significantly better while in beta and once it went live all kinds of changes started happening immediately including losing many games that the day before worked just fine.

Only being on Android says to me that they can’t compete with Stadia on desktop for graphics.

That’s the only reason I can think they would lock their service into the small resolution phone screens.

Wonder how long until they can catch up to Stadia which is already able to do 4K at fullscreen!

That’s something they could do better than Stadia, have a windows mode. Stadia is Fullscreen all the time!

Windows 10 app is already in beta testing.

And after the Series X release, xCloud servers will start to be replaced with Series X blades, which are superior hardware to Stadia, and has video encoders built-in as the hardware was designed for both console and cloud simultaneously.

They could offer 4k then.

?? It’s already being tested for pc internally…

They are doing this the right way and scaling up as they reach certain performance standards (not to mention giving the tech time to breathe and improve).

If you REALLY want to play on a big screen you certainly can make it happen and as has been stated windows apps have already been tested.

The most useful scenario they could see for their service and how their current customers would benefit most it made sense to focus on mobile as the main platform that these users would most likely already be using is in the living room and already connected to the big screen in the house.

Honestly I’m going to try this on my older Android phone I kept when I switched to the iPhone. If it’s compelling enough I think I might go back to Android. iMessage is nice but this walled garden bullshit is honestly super tiring.

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