During Gamescom 2021 event, Microsoft announced its new cloud gaming service will finally be released to the public this Christmas. The service is already usable on phones, tablets, and PCs thanks to the ongoing beta program, but most importantly the cloud service will finally be available on both your Xbox Series consoles as well as previous-gen Xbox One consoles on release. For now, Microsoft recommends its streaming service be used to test new games out before downloading them to your Xbox consoles. But, of course, you can use the streaming service however you'd like.
The new streaming service will be part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership, so you're good to go if you already have the membership. But, if you want to sign up, you get your first month for just $1, then afterward it's $14.99 per month. The Ultimate membership will give you access to over 100 games that will be streamable to your devices and Xbox consoles.
The streaming service will target 1080P 60FPS for all consoles, which are the same specifications that the current Xbox Cloud Gaming beta service uses. Presumably, you will be able to run at lower resolutions and frame rates if necessary.
Current requirements for the cloud gaming beta require 10Mb/s at a minimum or 20Mb/s for iPad users. Expect Xbox console requirements to be the same or more than this to ensure a good gaming experience.
When the service goes live later this Christmas, you'll be able to select a game and instantly play on the cloud in a seamless matter. Once you select a game, there will be two buttons, one will allow you to play the game (with a cloud logo), and right next to that button is an install button to download the game to your console.
It's great to see that Microsoft will support previous-gen consoles with this cloud service. This should breathe some more life into the nearly outdated consoles and give gamers a chance to try out new games made exclusively for Xbox Series X and S if getting a new Series console is out of reach, which wouldn't be surprising given the current semiconductor shortage.
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Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.