Xbox One soon reaches for the skies, with Microsoft on track to deliver its Project xCloud game-streaming service. Bringing full-fledged console gaming to smartphones, the ambitious platform provides the best of Xbox while on-the-go. Here's what to expect from upcoming Project xCloud preview trials planned for this October.

What is Xbox Project xCloud?

Poised to mobilize Microsoft's gaming portfolio, Project xCloud is an upcoming cloud-based game streaming service based on the existing Xbox One family. Leveraging the firm's cloud dominance, Project xCloud expands Xbox gaming beyond physical consoles, reaching an untapped gaming crowd. First targeting low-latency mobile streaming, the service brings the power of an Xbox One to your existing mobile. After the hands-on opportunities at E3 2019, the service is finally on track for at-home testing.

While Project xCloud will allow anyone to stream Xbox One games, the service formally divides between two separate components. At its heart lies true remote streaming, utilizing cloud-hosted consoles to serve games on your mobile phone. Since it's set to expand Microsoft's lineup of Xbox services, some form of subscription will likely tie into these offerings. This will kickstart Project xCloud trials this October in "Preview," ahead of a broader rollout at a later date.

Project xCloud "Console Streaming" is an accompanying alternative for existing Xbox One owners, streaming your home console over the internet. This feature will be free for those with an Xbox One console and takes the horsepower and games library on the move.

Related: Xbox Project xCloud Games List

Where is Project xCloud available?

While Microsoft's established cloud infrastructure spans worldwide, custom Xbox server blades used by Project xCloud have first rolled out to select regions. The low-latency nature of game streaming requires relative proximity and will limit who can play initial public tests. The first wave of testing focuses on the United States, United Kingdom, and South Korea.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Gaming Cloud Kareem Choudhry confirmed 13 Azure regions were packing xCloud hardware in May 2019, with "an initial emphasis on proximity to key game development centers." Early testing waves are first expected to target regions in North America, Asia, and Europe, with availability to grow alongside the service.

Which phones will support Project xCloud?

Microsoft indicates that Project xCloud will eventually touch devices of all shapes and sizes, though the initial pitch doubles down on mobile gaming. Recent showcases have focused exclusively on Android devices, with its iOS plans yet to be outlined. With no iOS support so far, the first tests feature exclusivity locking down streaming to Android.

During the Project xCloud Preview, users will require an Android 6.0 compatible device, with Bluetooth 4.0 or higher. While Project xCloud will hit most modern Android phones, pre-release marketing heavily features Samsung Galaxy devices, bolstering its continued mobile partnership. A Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controller is also required, covering all revisions dropped since mid-2016. We've wrapped up an easy guide to hardware requirements (and recommendations) for the Project xCloud Preview.

  • Android 6.0 device, or higher
  • Bluetooth 4.0 device, or higher
  • 5GHz Wi-Fi or mobile data connection 10Mbps down
  • Xbox One controller with Bluetooth
  • Xbox One controller phone mount (highly recommended)
  • No Xbox One console required

As previously outlined, all applicants must also reside in the U.S., UK, and South Korea.

How to sign-up for Project xCloud Preview tests

Microsoft remains quiet on precise details surrounding Project xCloud testing beyond its slated October preview debut. Initial trials will focus on the cloud streaming feature of the service, with a requirement for a compatible Android-based device, but no Xbox console.

Project xCloud sign-ups are now live following a September 2019 kick-off. Applicants must provide details on their location, mobile hardware, carrier, and more.

Following sign-ups, invites are expected to roll out this October. Expect more news on the first wave of Project xCloud availability in the coming weeks ahead of the first scheduled tests.

Our top equipment picks

Converting any existing Xbox One controller into your portable gaming companion, the Jovitec Xbox One Foldable Controller Clip delivers an xCloud-ready phone mounting solution. Its clip-on design is easy to attach (and detach) from official gamepads, and is paired with an adjustable slider that maintains a firm grip on your phone.

Strapped in

Jovitec Xbox One Foldable Controller Clip

Take your Xbox One controller on-the-go with ease

This foldable Jovitech controller clip effortlessly mounts any phone safely and securely. Plus, it's conveniently affordable.

If you need a Project xCloud controller, Microsoft's entry-level third-generation controller is your best pick. Packing the required Bluetooth connectivity and a streamlined design, it's primed for your game streaming sessions.

Gain Control

Microsoft Xbox One Controller

An easy essential for Project xCloud testing.

Pick up Microsoft's signature controller is a streamlined and simple finish. Official entry-level controllers start as low as $44 via Amazon.

Google's low-cost entries to the Pixel lineup balance impressive hardware at an affordable price, retaining much of its beloved premium handsets. Loaded with clean Android for Project xCloud and also among the first Google Stadia-compatible mobiles, there's no better game-streaming handheld on the market.

Best Budget Android

Google Pixel 3a

An affordable Project xCloud phone

With a large 6-inch HD display and impressive accompanying hardware, the Google Pixel 3a XL will draw the best from Project xCloud at launch. Bundling the best of the premium Pixel lineup for a fraction of the price, it's our top Android pick for budget gaming.

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