Microsoft has announced that its streaming service Project xCloud will become part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate this September “at no additional cost to existing subscribers.”
The company previously confirmed that the streaming feature would be made available as part of the service in the past, but this is the first time we’ve received official, concrete confirmation – and it’s great news.
It’s somewhat unfortunate that xCloud won’t be included with the basic Xbox Game Pass subscription, which costs £7.99 a month. Instead, you will need to pay £10.99 for the Ultimate variant which includes Xbox Live Gold, Game Pass and, later this year, Project xCloud.
A blog post on Xbox Wire penned by Phil Spencer states that “you won’t be forced into the next generation” which sounds like a fairly obvious bit of shade towards Sony, who will be releasing a selection of games which will be exclusive to PS5.
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“We want every Xbox player to play all the new games from Xbox Game Studios,” Spencer wrote. “That’s why Xbox Game Studios titles we release in the next couple of years – like Halo Infinite – will be available and play great on Xbox Series X and Xbox One. We won’t force you to upgrade to Xbox Series X at launch to play Xbox exclusives.”
“Your Xbox One gaming accessories come into the future with you, too,” Spencer added. “The Xbox Elite Controller and Xbox Adaptive Controller all work on Xbox Series X, so you don’t have to purchase new controllers. Unlike others, we believe that your investments in gaming should move with you into the next generation.”
Phil Spencer isn’t messing around, pushing the idea of forward compatibility and allowing players to move forward into the next generation knowing their console, games and accessories will all remain relevant. It’s a bold move, and a clear indication that Microsoft is more concerned with its service ecosystem than traditional console cycles.
Xbox Series X is due to launch later this year, although a specific release date and pricing remain unconfirmed. It’s possible that such details we’ll be unveiled during the Xbox Game Showcase on July 23, which will shine a significant light on first-party titles.