Microsoft’s cloud streaming platform, codenamed Project xCloud, has been seen in action within a web browser. According to a report from The Verge, Microsoft started testing xCloud through the web ahead of its upcoming public preview.
With browser support, xCloud game streaming will be an option for more platforms and devices, most notably the iPhone and iPad running iOS and iPadOS. Microsoft is not able to get xCloud onto iOS devices through the App Store in a way that it’s happy with. To have an xCloud app in the App Store, Microsoft would have to submit all games to Apple for review.
It was already known that xCloud was on its way through the web, but now we have screenshots of it in action. We also know, thanks to The Verge, that the preview is “getting very close” to rolling out.
Game streaming through xCloud works as you’d expect. You need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription to play within a browser. The web version has a game launcher and launches games in fullscreen mode. The Verge notes that you’ll need a controller to play the web version of xCloud. That shouldn’t be difficult, considering Xbox Series X|S controller support is in beta for iOS 14.5. Older Xbox One controllers are already supported.
By moving xCloud game streaming to the browser, Microsoft can deliver game streaming to iOS devices, as well as other devices with supported web browsers. According to The Verge, the web version of xCloud is currently limited to Chromium browsers, such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
This should all look familiar, as it’s extremely similar to how xCloud game streaming works on Windows 10. We’ve already gone hands-on with xCloud Xbox game streaming for Windows 10. The web version of xCloud game streaming will be bundled into the Xbox app for Windows 10 in the future.
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Xbox Game Pass gives you access to dozens upon dozens of games for one monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also adds Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass for PC to the package so you can play online, as well as cloud streaming on mobile devices and, eventually, PC!
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