Microsoft’s Project xCloud Streaming Preview Opens in October

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is moving Project xCloud, its game streaming service, forward with a public preview. It will begin in October in the United States, United Kingdom and Korea.

Those in the U.S. and U.K. can register here, and the Korean sign up is here. Invites will show up in the “coming weeks.” The preview will start with Halo 5: Guardians, Gears 5, Killer Instinct and Sea of Thieves. You won’t need to buy or own the game previously for it to work during the preview, and more games will be added later.

To participate in the xCloud public preview, you’ll need a phone or tablet with Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later and Bluetooth 4.0, a Microsoft account and a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controller. Microsoft is recommending a phone mount for the controller, although it’s not required.

Project xCloud will run over Wi-Fi or mobile networks, so make sure your data plan is ready. In the U.S., Microsoft has partnered with T-Mobile and in the U.K. it has paired with Vodafone for “technical partnerships” to learn more about how gamers use the service. However, you will not be limited to those carriers if you make the preview in the US or the UK. In Korea though, Microsoft is partnering with SK Telecom, and only its customers will be in the preview.

The games will live in Microsoft’s new Game Streaming app, which will be available soon for Android. Anyone will be able to download it, but you can only sign in once you get an invite. Microsoft hasn’t specified how long the preview period will be, just that it is testing the technology and is waiting until gamers are reporting smooth experiences. If you were waiting on more details about the business model, including cost, keep waiting. Right now, the company is focusing on public trials.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon

  • gggplaya
    They should have a way for you to use your home xbox as the server device playing the game. Presumably, you'll be relatively close to your home, like at your job, a friends house, or school. This would reduce lag significantly. Granted most people don't have the upload bandwidth to do this, I do, but most won't. It would give the xbox a huge advantage to competing with the nintendo switch. You could be at a friends house and just bring your tablet and controller, or firetv stick and controller and play together.