Available since little in the beta phase, we tested the cloud gaming service xCloud from Microsoft, which will soon be included with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Tested to date by a panel with very limited users, sorted on the pane, the solution of cloud-gaming xCloud Microsoft is now accessible to (almost) all. In fact, prior to its official launch on 15 September, the service is offered for a few days in the beta phase to the public.
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the xCloud already within the reach of all ?
To take advantage of xCloud, it is essential to an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, but also an Android smartphone. In effect, the terms and conditions of use Apple does not allow (for the moment anyway) to accommodate the lower platform of cloud-gaming. No Google Stadia or xCloud for iOS so. For Android users (and subscribers Xbox Game Pass Ultimate), so just download the app Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (beta), which has just been updated.
— Stéphane Ficca (@Mr_Fi) August 12, 2020
An application that allows you to identify all of the content offered by the Xbox Game Pass on Xbox as on PC. Since a few hours now, a new tab has been added : “the Cloud.” It is this last which provides access to the cloud solution-gaming from Microsoft. For the time being, thirty games are accessible, but there are more than 100 games that are expected on 15 September.
In this regard, xCloud is not a service of type ” Arcade “, with only small indie games that are cut to be played on mobile. On the contrary, the game allows you to play exclusives for Xbox like Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, Crackdown 3, Halo Wars, the two opus of the series Ori, ReCore… this in addition to other titles like A Plague Tale: Innocence, ARK Survival Evolved, Hellblade, Streets of Rage 4… Of the beautiful world.
Note that this beta phase of xCloud works only via Wi-fi network. I can’t play 4G therefore, even if the mobile network will be fine and well taken care of on the 15th of September next, at the occasion of the launch of public service. See now what will be the consequence of xCloud on the consumption of data…
And in real life, how it works xCloud ?
In concrete terms, once in the tab ” Cloud “, simply select the game you want to play, and the app then offers two choices, namely ” Play “, or ” Install on the Xbox console associated “. By clicking on ” Play “, after a loading of more or less long depending on your network connection, the game is playable directly on the smartphone, without any installation. This is the magic of cloud gaming.
Of course, it should be paired with a pre-Xbox (compatible with Bluetooth) with a smartphone to take full advantage of the game. Various accessories will soon be available, to transform our smartphones into real small Xbox portable.
In regards to the experience of the game itself, this last is going to depend on the quality of the network. With my ” small “ connection (16 Mb/s and 1 Mb/s) in 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi and game sessions on a OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition, the experience is very correct for the time, but you can not escape some trouble in terms of display, nor even a small latency in the controls.
All of this of course, provided that the game wants to launch, this beta still displaying a lot of errors, with titles that sometimes refuse stubbornly to launch. The general experience is already very nice in spite of it all, with of course the possibility to start a game on xCloud, to continue the night on the console of the living room, the backups are synchronized in the cloud.
xCloud, the future of video games ?
If Google Stadia also offers a cloud-based solution gaming since the end of November 2019, force is to admit that the service proposed by Microsoft is (already) be much higher. In effect, attached to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the xCloud is a ” complement “ to the Xbox experience. A bit like Amazon Prime Music or Amazon Prime Video (and the new Premium Gaming) came as a “bonus” to the subscription to Amazon Prime.
In this way, the 15 September, the subscriber Xbox Game Pass Ultimate can not only enjoy the games of the catalog on his Xbox, the multiplayer game via the Xbox Live Gold membership included, but it may also decide to play in mobile mode via the offer xCloud (soon to be) integrated to his / her subscription.
As well, if for many, the experience of the game is inseparable from a 4K display and an audio system worthy of the name, these same players, sometimes (very) refractory to cloud gaming, will inevitably be tempted to launch such-and-such a title on their smartphone. Of course, side immersion, portable gaming is far from equaling the salon experience, but the excellent manoeuvre on the part of Microsoft, it is that the xCloud will come to position itself as a ” bonus “, and not as a new subscription in full.
As an example, and purely personal, I would not have subscribed to an offer monthly xCloud, preferring me to enjoy the video game on the Smart TV in the living room, a good helmet over the ears. However, being a subscriber of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, I have, naturally, been seduced by the idea of starting such or such a title on my smartphone, a little Streets of Rage 4, to perform a few laps on Forza Horizon 4, or raise the first Ori, and must admit that it is pretty pleasant.
Of course, the experience is not always perfect (remember this is still a beta) and greatly depends on the quality of the network connection, but it is still very nice to play ” on the go “ with real Xbox games, bonus with the consideration of backups or even of Success. In short, as much as to say that by September 15, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is likely to be even more indispensable than it already is for all owners of Xbox One (and soon Xbox Series X).