Microsoft’s Project xCloud preview starts today, here’s what we know

Just last month, Microsoft started to prepare the public preview to xCloud, its console-quality game streaming service designed to run on Android devices, as well as iPhone and iPad. Once fully established, xCloud will support all 3,500+ Xbox titles, though at launch, it only works with a few, including Gears 5, Killer Instinct, Sea of Thieves, and Halo 5: Guardians. If you signed up back in September to be notified when the public preview launched, check your inbox. If you’ve not signed up yet, head below to find out more.

Microsoft’s Project xCloud public preview starts rolling out today

Microsoft’s Project xCloud is sending out invites to those who signed up to be notified starting today to Xbox users in the US, Korea, and the UK. As of right now, xCloud is only compatible with four games, but according to Microsoft, “This is just the beginning as our content library will continue to grow as the preview progresses”. Eventually, xCloud will support all 3,500+ Xbox games, including backward compatible titles. For those who haven’t signed up, you can still do so. Just know there’s no guarantee of being accepted right away.

Project xCloud public preview device requirements

For the Microsoft Project xCloud public preview, you’ll need a phone or tablet running Android 6.0 or higher with Bluetooth 4.0, a Microsoft account, a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One Wireless Controller, and Microsoft recommends a phone mount for the controller (though it’s not required).

Make sure your data plan is fit for gaming

While Microsoft claims to be working with SK Telecom in Korea, T-Mobile in the US, and Vodafone in the UK, please make sure your smartphone’s data plan is fit for gaming. If you’re on a carrier like Verizon, and have a limited shared data pool, only use Project xCloud while on Wi-Fi. This service is likely to be very data heavy, as you’re literally streaming high-quality console-level games over your smartphone’s data plan. Microsoft is working with other carriers, too, once it figures out how much of an impact xCloud will have on mobile networks to see what they can do to make it better.

No iPhone support? What?

Currently, there’s no iPhone support for Project xCloud, however, that won’t always be the case. Microsoft has stated that they’d like to bring Project xCloud to iPhone and iPad, though no specific timeframe has been established as of the time of writing.

9to5Toys’ take

While Google’s Stadia game streaming service is right around the corner, Project xCloud has me far more excited. Stadia would require a separate monthly fee and separate game purchases, while xCloud should just tie right into your current Xbox game library and Live subscription, negating any additional cost. Plus, Microsoft as a whole is known for keeping their services around for many years, while Google…well, isn’t.

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