Now that everyone has a battle royale and a subscription, everyone wants a cloud gaming service too. Google’s Stadia launches next week, and Microsoft today announced that their own Project xCloud is coming to PC. In the cloud gaming way, it’ll let people play Xbox One games on even a crappy old PC (it was initially made for phones and tablets) thanks to streaming video technomagic. Unlike streaming services which ha-ha-hilariously people expect people to pay full price for games, xCloud will let you stream Xbox games you own as well as those you have access to through the Xbox Game Pass.
I’m super leery of cloud gaming as a further erosion of ownership tied to services that could be taken away and leave no trace. This seems more palatable, or at least less hostile, by hook it into the library of games you already own and those on Xbox Game Pass. I’m not a subscriber myself and don’t see myself signing up any time soon, but I recognise its game library is pretty tempting with Microsoft adding all their new releases as they come out. If you’re already subscribed to that, streaming is just a bonus. Still undermining foundations for future erosion, but certainly less offputting than Stadia.
Project xCloud is currently in closed testing in the UK, US, and Korea. Microsoft plan to expand that to more countries in 2020. That’s also when it’ll come to PC. Support for more controllers is coming next year too, including the PlayStation Dualshock 4 and Razer game pads.
Testing signups are over here.