Microsoft Launches xCloud Gaming For PC
Software giant Microsoft has officially launched xCloud gaming for Windows PCs via its Xbox app. While still in beta form, this means Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, or Xbox Insiders, are now able to access games previously unavailable cross-platform on any PC running Windows 10.
Users can also now perform additional functions like picking up where they left off on a saved game on Xbox (as in the console hardware) on their computers, or even give a new game a trial run on their PCs before opting to download it to their consoles.
A Simple Setup
Using Xbox Cloud Gaming is reportedly as easy as connecting a game controller to a compatible computer via either USB or Bluetooth, firing up the Xbox app, and selecting the title to be played. Access to games is granted via the button for “cloud games”, which is available on the app.
The ramped-up Xbox app grants users access to all of the same games previously available to either console or PC users – i.e., a shared environment. Microsoft’s partner director of Xbox experiences, Jason Beaumont, explained how it all ties together in an official statement released by the software giant earlier this week.
According to Beaumont, several easy-to-access features have been added to the experience for helping users get started – including useful information about the status of the network and/or controllers connected to the PC, features for staying socially connected to friends and contacts, and a functionality that allows users to invite others to join in a gaming session. The latter would even include players accessing the cloud but without the game in question installed on their own systems.
App On Offer Too
Accessing the new app is also easy – and is now available in 22 countries via a simple and instant sign-up process for Windows Gaming inside the Xbox Insider Hub application. The actual games available on the cloud must then be accessed in the section for game passes, which is how it all links together for cross-platform availability.
Even users not registered as Xbox Insider testers can access the xCloud’s functionalities, with Microsoft very likely to roll out the full non-beta experience to the official Windows application for Xbox in the coming weeks and months.
The idea behind Xbox Insider is to attract feedback from the Xbox community – feedback which will go a long way to helping Microsoft finetune the actual full-scale rollout.