You can stream games to your console with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription
Many of us are still iffy at best when it comes to cloud-based streaming, but with the right price and circumstances, the convenience factor can lend itself to potentially great experiences. Xbox Cloud Gaming is already up there for me just based on its ease of use and its inclusion in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. After letting players stream hundreds of Xbox games to a PC or phone, Microsoft has opened up the feature on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. If you’re already a paying subscriber, cloud streaming is no extra cost.
The Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) service is launching in 25 regions, with Brazil to follow.
“This capability will initially roll out with our November release to a subset of Xbox gamers and scale to all gamers in supported markets over the coming weeks,” according to Xbox Cloud Gaming’s vice president and head of product Catherine Gluckstein.
Apart from the time-saving benefit of hopping into a game you’re unsure about without needing to fully download and install it, cloud-based gaming will be a chance for Xbox One owners to play some otherwise out-of-reach Xbox Series X/S exclusives on their aging console. Right now, The Medium, Recompile, and The Riftbreaker fall into this category, and the team says that Microsoft Flight Simulator will allow this “next-gen on last-gen” cloud streaming in early 2022. Other Series X/S-only titles will join the cloud library too.
Seeing is believing with this stuff, so what’s actually streamable? You can skim the list of cloud games over here (and that’s also the link to play games directly in your browser).
Even if you’ve had bad experiences with playing games via stream before, I still think Xbox Cloud Gaming, in particular, is worth a look nowadays. It would be nice if folks could briefly test it out in their specific tech setup before committing to a Game Pass Ultimate membership. That said, it’s still a beta, and there’s plenty of room for improvement.
Xbox Cloud Gaming isn’t going to be my main way to play games anytime soon, but I can’t understate how useful it can be — with a good connection — for checking out storage-hogging games or titles you’re on the fence about playing. It pairs so well with Game Pass.
Just look for the little cloud icon on the game’s cover art.