Microsoft recently concluded their Beta program for its cloud-based gaming service, Project xCloud. Set to launch as part of Ultimate Game Pass tomorrow, September 15th on Android mobile phones and tablet devices. Project xCloud looks to be a great addition to the Xbox ecosystem. We recently spent time testing xCloud to answer the question we’ve all been wondering: is Project xCloud ready?
How It Works
xCloud will require you to have Ultimate Game Pass and is slated to launch with over 100 games on September 15th. All you will need to do is download the Game Pass app on your Android mobile device or tablet with Android version 6.0 and Bluetooth 4.0+, a 5GHz Wi-Fi or Mobile Data Connection of 10Mbps, a compatible controller wireless Bluetooth controller and you are clear for takeoff. There are a variety of ways to play your games on xCloud, but you may want to consider getting yourself one of xCloud’s upcoming gaming controllers such as the Razer Kishi, for that near-perfect experience. Although games such as Gears 5 and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will be playable with touch controls. We don’t recommend it.
What We Played
During our time with xCloud, we played quite a few different games. Games like Destiny 2, Halo 5: Guardians, and Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice. Getting started was fast and easy and once connected via Bluetooth or USB-c the controllers were recognized immediately. During my time with xCloud I played with the Razer Kishi. The controller had a snug fit over my Samsung S20 Ultra. Once I updated the Kishi through the Razer Kishi App and launched xCloud, I immediately had control. Navigation was easy and similar to your Xbox LIVE dashboard. Once you’re ready to play simply pick your game and launch. The experience is very similar to playing on your Xbox One console. You can still message and access your friends list and invite them to play with you.
Now the concern that most have with cloud-based gaming is input lag and competitive gameplay. The input lag is very small but still present and this largely due to the fact that the game is being streamed to your device instead of being played directly off of the hardware. So if you’re looking at playing competitive games on xCloud I would advise you to take note of this disadvantage. But if you’re planning on doing some solo-gaming or some co-op gaming with friends then this is a game-changer.
How It Compares
With services like Stadia and GeForce now jumping into the cloud gaming arena, Microsoft has a lot to compete against. What truly gives them an advantage is that you will be able to carry all of your cloud saves and data across your xCloud devices. This means that you can play a game at home on your Xbox One or the upcoming Series X and continue where you left off on your android device. Ultimate Game Pass is shaping up to be a fantastic deal. You get access to Xbox LIVE, a library of games that you can download and play on Xbox or via the Xbox App on PC which includes ALL upcoming 1st party Xbox Series X games, as well as the ability to play a large library of games via cloud gaming.
We’ll just have to wait and see how things shape up over the coming months as Microsoft is set to release the Xbox Series X. We hope to see Series X games available for cloud gaming and hope they add previous generation games from Xbox 360 and the original Xbox. Overall we’re pretty excited to how this develops and here’s hoping they allow cloud gaming on PC. So is Project xCloud ready? Although we expect it to be a fantastic addition to the Xbox ecosystem, we do feel that there are still some unanswered questions about its overall functionality. I guess we will just have to wait until its launch tomorrow and see.