Many believe that streaming is the future of gaming. Google Stadia and GeForce Now are some of the early players in the battleground, having recently been joined by Microsoft’s Project xCloud, a new service set to accompany its next-gen machine – Xbox Series X.
It’s now playable across a range of devices with dozens of games as part of the public trial. So if you fancy trying out the new technology, it’s easier than you might think. We have compiled all the latest Project xCloud news, release date, specs and more.
Project xCloud news – Covid-19 pandemic delays xCloud release plans
Due to the huge strain that the coronavirus lockdown is putting on some networks, Microsoft won’t be rolling out the large-scale xCloud trial we had hoped for just yet. Today, sign-ups are open for Android users, but there’s no definite date on when a trial will begin, and only a limited amount of players will be able to get online.
Microsoft offered gamers an explanation and some details in a new post on Xbox Wire. Here’s what they had to say:
“Bringing the Project xCloud preview to gamers across Western Europe is a top priority for us. We know gaming is an important way for people to remain connected, particularly during these times of social distancing, but we also recognize how internet bandwidth has been impacted with strain on regional networks… Here at Xbox, we look to our products to bring joy and connection at all times and particularly during these weeks and months when we’re asked to stay at home.
“Phil Spencer has talked often about what he sees as the unique power of games to bring people together, to entertain, to inspire and connect. We all believe that in our current circumstances that’s even more true, and we hope that the freedom to discover and play with Project xCloud brings even more joy and connection.
“With that in mind, we continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation and will begin rolling out the Project xCloud preview across 11 Western European countries when we are confident it is sensible to do so. We will take a measured approach to help conserve internet access, beginning the preview in each market with a limited number of people and adding more participants over time.”
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What is Project xCloud?
Project xCloud is Microsoft’s solution to cloud streaming, specifically when it comes to gaming across Xbox and Windows. Instead of replacing the next generation of console hardware, Microsoft hopes to have it act as a companion for players across a variety of devices.
“We’re developing Project xCloud not as a replacement for game consoles, but as a way to provide the same choice and versatility that lovers of music and video enjoy today. We’re adding more ways to play Xbox games. We love what’s possible when a console is connected to a 4K TV with full HDR support and surround sound – that remains a fantastic way to experience console gaming. We also believe in empowering gamers to decide when and how to play,” explained Kareem Choudhry, corporate vice president of cloud gaming at Microsoft.
In essence, it will hope to include your gaming library, friends list, achievements and everything that defines your Xbox Live identity. Microsoft has made it abundantly clear it’s keen to grow its ecosystem, whether through multi-platform play or its Game Pass subscription service. xCloud is yet another layer to this.
Where can I use Project xCloud?
While the full list of compatible devices remains unconfirmed, and will likely change and/or grow following the beta trial, Project xCloud aims to work across consoles, personal computers, tablets and phones. So long as you have access to a stable internet connection and a method of controlling the games, xCloud should be trivial to enjoy.
Project xCloud price – how much does it cost?
Pricing details for Project xCloud are yet to be confirmed, and we’ll likely hear more concrete specifics once the general release window has been pinned down. Phil Spencer said previously that players could use their Xbox One console as their own “personal and free xCloud server.” Chances are it could be tied into Xbox Live, Game Pass or the Ultimate subscription service, bringing players further into Microsoft’s ecosystem.
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Project xCloud release date – when will it be available?
A concrete release date for Project xCloud remains unconfirmed, although Microsoft is currently holding a trial period for the streaming service with a selection of specific games. This is limited across the US, UK and Korea and a handful of other territories at the time of writing. It seems the company is still testing the waters, hoping to perfect things before unleashing it on the general public.
You can register for the trial here. It allows selected players to test out a small variety of games on phones and tablets. Over 50 games are now available on the Project xCloud service, so players will have a bunch to get stuck into. This trial is limited to Android devices, and you’ll also require Bluetooth 4.0 and a wireless controller to enjoy the games. Microsoft has said it will be bringing Project xCloud to PC later this year, although a specific date remains unconfirmed.
Project xCloud specs – how powerful will it be?
Microsoft hasn’t released a list of specifications for Project xCloud, although we do have a rough idea of the architecture ticking away underneath its virtual hood. It will run through Microsoft’s Azure computing centres, 140 of which are situated around the world and will ensure players can run games through xCloud with minimal latency and decent image quality. The proof is obviously in the pudding, but this is reassuring to hear.
Project xCloud games – what can I play on it?
We’ve compiled all of the games currently available in the Project xCloud preview programme below:
- A Plague Tale: Innocence
- Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- Battle Chaser: Nightwar
- Black Desert Online
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
- Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
- Brothers: Tales of Two Sons
- Children of Morta
- Crackdown 3
- Darksiders 3
- Dead by Daylight
- Dead Island: Definitive Edition
- Devil May Cry 5
- Dirt Rally 2.9
- F1 2019
- Felix The Reaper
- Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour
- For The King
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears 5
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo Wars 2
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Hello Neighbour
- Hitman: Game of the Year Edition
- Just Cause 4
- Kingdom Come: Deliverance
- Madden NFL 20
- Mark of the Ninja: Remastered
- MotoGP 19
- Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
- Ori and the Blind Forest
- PuyoPuyo Champions
- Recore: Definitive Edition
- Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Sniper Elite 4
- SoulCalibur 6
- State of Decay 2
- Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition
- Tekken 7
- The Bard’s Tale IV: Director’s Cut
- The Hunter: Call of the Wild
- Tracks: The Train Set Game
- War Thunder
- Warhammer: Vermintide 2
- West of Dead
- World of Final Fantasy: Maxima
- World of Tanks
- World of Warships
- World War Z
- WRC 7
- WWE 2K20
- Yoku’s Island Express