Project xCloud is Microsoft’s answer to Google Stadia; a game streaming service that allows gamers to stream their favourite Xbox One games to almost any internet-connected device, be it a computer, tablet or even a smartphone.
Unlike traditional consoles, you won’t need to download the games that you play in Project xCloud – instead, they’ll be streamed from Microsoft’s servers utilising its Azure Cloud Architecture, tech that has already been implemented into games like Crackdown 3 and Titanfall 2. And with 54 Azure-supported regions globally, the service should be stable regardless of location.
Microsoft is looking to optimise the game streaming experience by offering multiple control options. The best way to play Project xCloud games is, of course, to use the official Xbox One Wireless Controller, but you’ll also be able to interact with games via touchscreen controls and other third-party controllers – as long as the controller features a similar button layout to the Xbox One controller.
It’s worth noting that Project xCloud isn’t designed to be a replacement for gaming PCs and consoles. Instead, Microsoft hopes that the game streaming service will open up high-end gaming to those who lack the necessary hardware.
It isn’t clear what the quality limit will be on Project xCloud, but with Microsoft CVP of Gaming Cloud Kareem Choudhry stating that the company still values the console experience as it allows for 4K gaming, it’s possible that it won’t meet the promised [email protected] gameplay on offer from Google Stadia.
With that out of the way, here’s all you need to know about Project xCloud, from release date and beta information to game availability and more.
When will Project xCloud be released?
There’s no concrete release date in place for Project xCloud, but Microsoft is holding a preview period for the cloud gaming service across the UK, US and Korea, with more countries to be added soon.
While there’s no release window in sight, we imagine it’ll launch at some point in 2020 – possibly in tandem with the upcoming Xbox Series X.
We’ll of course update this section once Microsoft announces release date information, so check back frequently for the latest details, and take a look at our selection of the best game streaming services for other great options.
The good news is that you can join a Project xCloud Preview right now and get a taste of Microsoft’s game streaming service before it’s launched worldwide.
There are a few catches, with the biggest being that it’s only available to residents in the UK, US and South Korea right now. You’re also limited to 62 games (which we list below) instead of the huge catalogue of Xbox One and PC titles expected to be available once the service officially launches. Oh, and it’s smartphone-only, for some odd reason…
If you’re still interested in taking an early look at Project xCloud, head over to the Xbox site now.
How much will Project xCloud cost?
There’s a big question mark surrounding Project xCloud pricing right now as, unsurprisingly, Microsoft isn’t talking about potential monthly costs while the service is still in a beta state. We anticipate that it’ll cost a similar amount to PlayStation Now, Sony’s rival cloud-based game streaming service, which costs £8.99/$9.99 a month, but we can’t say for sure right now.
The good news is that if you own an Xbox One and want to remotely play a game you already own, you’ll be able to use your console as your personal xCloud server, allowing you to stream games to any supported device completely free of charge.
How can I access Project xCloud?
During the preview period, Project xCloud is limited to Android devices featuring Android 6.0 or later and Bluetooth 4.0 or later. You’ll also need an Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth (the most recent version of the controller) and either 5GHz Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection with at least 10Mbps download speeds.
iPhone users can also get in on the action, with Microsoft opening the preview to 10,000 iOS users in early 2020, but the slots were taken almost immediately. Let’s hope Microsoft extends the base soon! The iOS preview is slightly more limited, only providing access to a single game – Halo: The Master Chief Collection – compared to the 62 titles available if you access the service via Android.
That’ll likely change once the service officially launches as one of the main benefits of cloud gaming is the ability to access the service on a variety of devices, so it should be available across PC, smartphones and tablets eventually, but only time will tell.
What games can I play on Project xCloud?
While the list is expected to expand once the service officially launches, you can play the following games during the beta period:
- Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- Battle Chaser: Nightwar
- Black Desert Online
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
- Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
- Brothers: Tales of Two Sons
- Children of Morta
- Crackdown 3
- Darksiders 3
- Dead by Daylight
- Dead Island: Definitive Edition
- Devil May Cry 5
- Dirt Rally 2.9
- F1 2019
- Felix The Reaper
- Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour
- For The King
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears 5
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo Wars 2
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Hello Neighbour
- Hitman: Game of the Year Edition
- Just Cause 4
- Kingdom Come: Deliverance
- Madden NFL 20
- Mark of the Ninja: Remastered
- MotoGP 19
- Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
- Ori and the Blind Forest
- PuyoPuyo Champions
- Recore: Definitive Edition
- Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Sniper Elite 4
- SoulCalibur 6
- State of Decay 2
- Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition
- Tekken 7
- The Bard’s Tale IV: Director’s Cut
- The Hunter: Call of the Wild
- Tracks: The Train Set Game
- War Thunder
- Warhammer: Vermintide 2
- West of Dead
- World of Final Fantasy: Maxima
- World of Tanks
- World of Warships
- World War Z
- WRC 7
- WWE 2K20
- Yoku’s Island Express