Cloud streaming is poised to take the gaming world by storm in the coming with months, with Google Stadia and GeForce Now already establishing themselves as a major contenders in this space. Now, Microsoft is throwing its weight around with Project xCloud, a new service set to accompany its next-generation console – Project Scarlett.
The public trial is now taking place, and we’ll be going hands-on soon. So, it’s time to delve into the nitty gritty of Project xCloud and exactly what it’s capable of right now. Trusted Reviews has compiled all the latest news, release date, specs and more.
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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 is 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 US, UK and Korea, with more territories to follow. 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. The confirmed games include Sea of Thieves, Halo 5: Guardians and Killer Instinct. For the trial’s duration, these will be free to play to your heart’s content – so get stuck in. This trial is limited to Android devices, and you’ll also require Bluetooth 4.0 and a wireless controller to enjoy the games.
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?
The endgame of Project xCloud is to have your entire Xbox library available within the cloud and accessible within a matter of minutes. However, that ultimatum likely won’t come into fruition for a number of years. For now, Microsoft has confirmed a handful of titles coming as part of the service’s open beta which include Gears 5, Sea of Thieves, Killer Instinct and more. We’ll be sure to update the list as it continues to grow.