Though it’s still in beta, Xbox Cloud Gaming is now available for everyone subscribing to Games Pass Ultimate on the PC. The cloud streaming service has previously been closed off, but if you have the top-tier subscription you can play over 100 console games in your browser without any additional downloads. If you don't have that sub, you can grab three months for £1 right now.
The closed beta in April must have gone well enough that they’re comfortable letting me in to poke around. I spent this morning enjoying the novelty of being able to click on Xbox 360 exclusive Fable II and having it just work. That’s not to say it was a perfect experience, though. These aren’t PC games you’re streaming, even when there’s a PC version available. You’re forced to play as you would on a console, so for things like FPS games you’re stuck with a controller.
Even with a hefty 350mb+ internet connection connecting to Microsoft's mighty servers running what they call "custom Xbox Series X hardware" there was still a slight lag between me and the game, and the rendering was slightly fuzzy. The core is of it is impressive, but it didn’t feel like I was playing games on my PC. I’ll try it in my living room tonight to see if it feels like a console in there.
But pairing it with the Games Pass top tier is a smart idea. It makes perfect sense as an add-on to the main subscription, because after trying it I wouldn’t go out of my way to use it unless it’s just there, offering up an unported game or quick fix when I’m away from my PC. It works on Microsoft Edge, Chrome, or Safari, and all your pocket devices, too. And it allows you to team up across all those devices, which is very neat.
For the next two days you get your first 3 months for £1/$1. It doesn’t appear to matter if you’ve had a previous sub to the service, as it allowed me to join up without any issue.