Announced during an Inside Xbox event on Tuesday, Microsoft’s Project xCloud will begin public previews in October, which means you’ll be able to try it for the first time in just a few weeks. When it comes to cloud gaming, Microsoft is hot on the trail of Google Stadia.
This trial period will help Microsoft test the technology on a wider scale, and the company is encouraging feedback from participants so it can continue improving the service in the weeks that follow.
The public preview will be available to United States, United Kingdom, and South Korean residents, and those who sign up will be selected in a multi-phase approach. This means if you are not selected out of the gate, there is still a chance you will get selected to try the service later on.
There’s one other major catch: Only Android phones will be supported during the public preview. Your device must be running Android 6.0 or newer and support Bluetooth 4.0. It doesn’t appear touch controls are activated yet, either, so you will need to have an Xbox One wireless controller to play the games.
In the first phase of the xCloud public preview, you will be able to play Halo 5: Guardians; Sea of Thieves; Gears 5 (one of the best games on Xbox); and Killer Instinct. The games will be playable over your local Wi-Fi network as well as with cellular data.
There is no set ending date for the xCloud public preview. Instead, Microsoft plans on continuing trials until it is satisfied with the technology, and users are reporting a positive experience. It is possible that it could be 2020 before we see the final version of the service — and the final name. Microsoft says it’s going to share even more information at its X019 fan event in November.
Microsoft has partnered with T-Mobile as part of its trials and will leverage the company’s LTE technology beginning in October. Both partners aim to learn more about how players use xCloud over a cellular network during the testing period.
We have still not learned the pricing model for Project xCloud, but the service will function across everything from mobile phones to PC and Xbox systems. You will be able to play on multiple devices due to its cross-save support, and the technology will also allow game-streaming from your own Xbox system to a phone. This will give you the chance to play all of your owned games on the go for no extra charge.
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