Microsoft has launched a new Xbox app for Android which enables all users to stream gameplay to their phone, using their Xbox One console as a server.
The new Xbox remote play feature, which resembles one long offered by Sony, makes it easy for Xbox owners to play their games on their phones, for example, if the living room TV is occupied.
Until now the feature had only been available for Xbox Insider beta members, but Microsoft has extended the functionality to everyone on an Android phone. The privilege will also be extended to Xbox Series X and Series S owners when those machines become available.
If you’re feeling a little confused here, we don’t blame you. This option is different to the Microsoft xCloud portion of the Game Pass Ultimate offering, which officially launched on Android last week. xCloud, as the name would suggest, streams games directly from the cloud without the need for a console as a conduit. In this instance, xCloud doesn’t require ownership of games either.
The new feature, previously known in beta as Console Streaming, doesn’t require a Game Pass membership (but is aided by one), and offers access to the owner’s entire library via a connection to their console.
In a blog post on Monday, Microsoft added: “If you love playing games, the new Xbox app (beta) is more useful than ever. We’re replacing the Console Streaming (Preview) with Xbox remote play in the new Xbox app (Beta). We’ve removed the requirement of being an Xbox Insider so starting today all Xbox gamers can play games downloaded to their consoles straight to their phones or tablets. With Xbox remote play, you can connect to your console and have access to Xbox One games already downloaded to your console including Xbox Game Pass titles.”
Elsewhere the new app for Android adopts the new Xbox Series S/X interface and introduces new ways to share games (see below video). It also brings Xbox Party and Chat functionality on the go.