Microsoft is expanding its cloud gaming service and will also grant owners of the Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One access to streaming via xCloud towards the end of the year. More than 100 games should be available on-demand via the Xbox Game Pass without downloading or installing.
After the introduction of cloud gaming for PCs, smartphones, and tablets, the Redmond-based company is the next step with the console launch of the xCloud access. At Gamescom 2021, the company announced that it would tackle this later in the year. A suitable insider preview is to start in advance in the fall, which console owners can use to put the game streaming service through its paces.
Advantages for Xbox One owners, mandatory subscription and 1080p restriction
The playback of games via the cloud should not only be available for Microsoft’s next-gen consoles Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, but also for older models of the Xbox One family. In the long term, there is the advantage that owners of the console generation produced between 2013 and 2020 have access to modern games that otherwise would have fallen through the cracks due to excessive hardware requirements.
In addition to a compatible Xbox console, the Redmond-based Cloud Gaming requires an active subscription to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, as is already required for game streaming on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. In the first month, this currently costs just one euro, followed by a monthly basic fee of 12.99 euros. In addition to a gaming flat rate with over 100 games, the benefits of Xbox Live Gold and the EA Play subscription are also included.
Microsoft confirms that game streaming via the xCloud server will continue to be limited to 1080p resolution at a maximum of 60 FPS, as is the case on other systems in the current beta phase. It is unclear whether one will rely on contemporary resolutions in 1440p or even UltraHD in the future. Competitor Google Stadia has been offering streaming in 4K HDR quality for almost two years.
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