Over the last couple of months, Microsoft’s game streaming service has been undergoing closed beta testing. We even went hands-on with Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS and (spoiler alert) it’s fair to say we got excited.
But now, thanks to some new additions to the Designed for Xbox hardware family like the Backbone One controller, the open beta is here and ready to give you console-quality titles wherever you are.
What is Xbox Cloud Gaming?
Formerly known as Project xCloud, Xbox Cloud Gaming has been widely seen as the Netflix for gaming — a live streaming service for Game Pass titles, so you can play them on the go.
The idea launched in September 2019 as a test exclusively for Android users, but was recently expanded to include iOS users and web browser streaming in April 2021.
After a seemingly successful closed beta test and plenty of Game Pass hype under its belt, Xbox is taking it to the public via an open beta.
What’s next for Xbox Cloud Gaming?
With Cloud Gaming being built into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the first steps are going to be more games on the service.
Out of all the new titles announced at the Xbox and Bethesda E3 showcase, so far, only Playground Games verbally confirmed the upcoming Forza Horizon 5 will be available to stream. Given how many Game Pass titles are already available for Cloud Gaming (266 out of 383 at the time of writing this), it’s fair to expect more of the big releases up for streaming.
Elsewhere, you can look forward to some serious performance upgrades. In our hands-on, we achieved a stream quality of 720p at 30FPS, because Xbox One S hardware was being used in the Project xCloud servers.
However, as Xbox Series X server upgrades came into effect recently, players have been enjoying better resolution, faster loading times, lower latency, and up to 120FPS refresh rates in select titles. More games will take advantage once they are moved onto this new hardware over time.
Put simply, there’s a lot to look forward to.