Although Microsoft’s Project xCloud game-streaming service is still more than a month away from its official launch, it’s now available to an expanded number of Xbox players.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can now start streaming a select number of titles to their Android phones and tablets. The service is still in beta, however, and Microsoft is quick to note that players may experience some quirks as they test it out.
But for those interested in trying out xCloud as it prepares for its official launch on September 15, we’ve compiled the following guide to shed more light on the beta program and how it works. Read on to learn more:
Microsoft has settled on using its Xbox Game Pass app for giving you access to xCloud titles. The app is available for free, and players can click here to download it.
In order to play xCloud games, players will need to have a device running Android 6.0 or later. The service also works with a variety of controllers, including Microsoft’s Xbox One controller, Sony’s DualShock 4 controller, and a variety of third-party options.
Microsoft’s xCloud has been available to Android users in its Preview program since last year. The Tuesday launch expands the number of people able to access xCloud to those who have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes access to more than 100 games, Xbox Live Gold, and now, xCloud. It costs $15 per month.
Although xCloud will offer full access to all Game Pass titles at launch, during the beta, players will only get 30 titles, including Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, and Dead Cells. Microsoft wants to learn how the service will work with the limited game library and prepare for next month’s full rollout.
Apple and Microsoft have clashed over xCloud access on iOS. In a statement last week, Microsoft said that while it had hoped to offer xCloud on the iPhone and iPad, Apple’s App Store policies stipulate that the company must approve not only the app but also the games that stream through it. In other words, Apple would need to ensure the Game Pass app meets its App Store guidelines, as well as all the games that work with it.
“Apple stands alone as the only general-purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass,” Microsoft said in a statement last week.
Although Apple hasn’t individually referenced Game Pass or the debate with Microsoft, the company told reporters last week that its App Store approval guidelines are “intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers.”
Either way, don’t expect xCloud to launch on Apple’s App Store anytime soon.
Microsoft acknowledged that its Game Pass app is still in beta and may suffer from glitches and other bugs.
The company says in its Google Play listing that it’s added a feature that lets players shake the app when they find a bug or glitch and immediately submit feedback to Microsoft. There’s also a feedback button in the app where users can share issues.
Microsoft plans to officially launch xCloud on September 15. To access xCloud at that time, players will need to have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
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