Microsoft’s upcoming Project xCloud service is available in a preview period for free, but until now was limited to the United States, United Kingdom, and South Korea. That will change later this month when the service expands to Canada.
Releasing in preview in the Great White North on January 29, Project xCloud in Canada will be invitation-only, and those looking to participate can register on the official website. As with the other regions, the service requires an Android phone or tablet and will be playable in both English and French in Canada.
While more region expansions are expected in 2020 during the preview stage, Microsoft hasn’t yet made the final release date public. Xbox Insiders members can also take advantage of Xbox One console streaming, allowing them to play games on a mobile device and use their console as the server.
The Project xCloud preview continues adding new games including Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Gears 5. Devil May Cry 5 is also available and acts as a great test of its capabilities. If your streaming service can run that kind of fast and framerate-crucial game, it should be able to run anything.
In addition to the dedicated mobile application, players need either 5GHz Wi-Fi or a cellular plan with 10Mbps download speeds and a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controller. You can purchase a controller clip separately to attach your phone, which helps prevent eye strain or dizziness during faster or more chaotic games.
This is optional, however, so those with access to a stand or a place to rest their phone will still be able to use xCloud, but it makes the service much more viable for commuters or those without a desk.
Project xCloud’s primary competition is still Google Stadia, but Stadia had a rough launch since it released in late 2019. Google is looking to change its fortunes in 2020 with 10 timed exclusives in the first half of the year, but Microsoft will likely still be in a very good position when xCloud does officially launch. The field will expand with Electronic Art’s Project Atlas, a possible game-streaming service from Amazon, and even Bethesda’s Orion service.
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