It's no secret that Xbox has been pushing its cloud gaming service, Project xCloud, for the better half of 2020. The service gives gamers access to a vast selection of Xbox games, which are currently playable on the go via an Android device. Microsoft has announced via blog post (opens in new tab) that is now set to expand that offering to both iOS devices and the PC in 2021 and will be bundled with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Earlier in November 2020, Xbox had announced that Project xCloud would make its way over to iOS devices, the iPad and iPhone, and released a limited beta. I actually was able to give it a try, and while the interface was buggy, as most betas are, it was an enjoyable experience. It played games like a champ, assuming my internet connection was solid. I can see this making fans of iOS very happy when this gets released.
There were concerns on how this would be made possible, as Apple has a tight grip on its ecosystem and what applications are hosted in the Apple Store. To get around this, Project xCloud on iOS will be playable via web browsers.
That's not the only place that Project xCloud is headed to, as Xbox is bringing it to the PC as well. It was leaked earlier in 2020 that the cloud gaming service would also arrive on the platform. However, nothing was officially confirmed until now. Microsoft joins other companies have launched their own cloud gaming services for the PC, including Shadow (opens in new tab), GeForce Now (opens in new tab), and PlayStation Now.
We've already seen Project xCloud running on Windows, on an Arm-Powered Surface X Pro, thanks to Windows Central. While it was buggy, the folks over at Windows Central came away impressed with what Project xCloud was able to do.
This is also great for those who want to play all these exciting and visually amazing games but don't have access to either an Xbox or PC capable of gaming. It's a great way for Xbox to expand its ecosystem, though something tells me that they're already aware of that.
"Whatever screen you choose, we want to make it easy to continue your game and connect with your friends," said Microsoft in its blog post.
Xbox Cloud Gaming is currently available for Android devices, included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and is priced at $14.99 monthly, $44.99 for 3-months, or $89.99 for 6-months. If you're new to the service, you can snag 3 months of the service for just $1 (opens in new tab)!