Microsoft plans to turn old Xbox One consoles into Game Pass cloud streaming boxes in the future

Xbox One S and Xbox wireless controller
Xbox One S and Xbox wireless controller (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft is pushing ahead with its Xbox Series X cutting-edge hardware, with games that are slated only for new-gen consoles, such as Starfield. Where does that leave console owners on original Xbox One consoles, which are starting to get a bit long in the tooth. Games like Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite are starting to showcase the power of the new consoles, but there are still millions of users on the original Xbox One, which are barely capable of 1080p gaming in some cases. That could be about to change.

In a blog post (opens in new tab) on Xbox Wire, Microsoft stated its intent to bring some cloud streaming goodness to older consoles to help them keep up.

For the millions of people who play on Xbox One consoles today, we are looking forward to sharing more about how we will bring many of these next-gen games, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, to your console through Xbox Cloud Gaming, just like we do with mobile devices, tablets, and browsers.

We've heard for a while that Microsoft plans to bring Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming to some of their older consoles. I often wonder whether this could also include Xbox 360 someday. Microsoft also confirmed that it is working to bring Xbox Game Pass cloud streaming to TV sets and new streaming-only devices in the future. Perhaps we could even get a shrunk Xbox One "classic" that gives you the ability to play Xbox One games natively, alongside Xbox cloud streaming for more intensive future games.

Microsoft's E3 2021 showcase really slammed home how serious the company is about Xbox. Insane value, mountains of games, and many of the best games of E3 2021 are coming day and date to Xbox Game Pass too. It's certainly a great time to be in the Xbox ecosystem.

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • It so cool to see Microsoft swinging for the fences.
  • F'in Love it! I recently commented on my hope that Xbox cloud gaming would come to the original Xbox through the new Edge browser, so much so that I joined the alpha skip ahead ring to try it out. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work. When you press the bumper buttons, it does the browser forward and back commands, so it's pretty much unplayable, but I also have obtained the beta Windows client on my PC which works with the Series X|S. Since the Xbox OS is pretty much Windows, if I could somehow sideload it that I imagine would work, so I'm assuming that's what MS is going to do. Hope it comes soon!
  • Browser in the Original Xbox? You mean the Xbox One?
  • Yeah, whoops. Xbox One, no S or X is what I meant.
  • That's what I figured. I was about to flip out for a second there. 😛
  • I would love to remove the barriers of cloud gaming that are regionally locked now!
  • I asked a Microsoft employee I know about this after the E3 event. He didn't know (or couldn't say anything). So glad this is happening - cause it makes sense.
  • I was expecting this to happen since xCloud was first announced (otherwise it's a bit of a **** move on their part), I'm glad Microsoft have now confirmed it.
  • I already thought this was going to be a thing to compete with PlayStation Now. I swear they talked about this when Xbox Cloud was first mentioned years ago. They said it was going to be an app for your console just like Netflix, Vudu and others.
  • It makes a lot of sense, the same way it makes a lot of sense to have a streaming stick so you don't need to have a full console to enjoy Xcloud. And it also makes sense for me to be able to stream Windows 10 games from my gaming PC to other devices like I do with Steam and people already do with xbox consoles...