Recently, Microsoft revealed that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be the vehicle for Project xCloud, Microsoft's cloud gaming streaming service. The service will launch for real on September 15, 2020, with over 100 games straight off the bat.
Unlike Google Stadia, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate doesn't ask you to purchase games on its service. Instead, xCloud is giving you access to an evolving library of first and third-party games, with the promise of all Microsoft Xbox Game Studios games joining the service either on launch or soon after.
Save on Microsoft's three-in-one Xbox and PC subscription
Wrapping together Xbox Game Pass for Xbox, Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Live Gold, this trio of services delivers the full experience.
Today, Microsoft revealed some more details about how the service rollout will work, and it's broader than expected. Project xCloud will launch as part of the Xbox Game Pass app on Android, hitting 22 markets out of the gate. There's still no word on when Project xCloud will hit iOS, but we expect it's Apple's draconian app store rules that is holding up the process there. If you're an iOS user, it might be worth grabbing one of the best Android tablets for Project xCloud to play instead.
The confirmed launch markets are as follows: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The full library of games on Project xCloud remains to be seen, but Microsoft teased the following titles. The list of Project xCloud games available in testing can be found over here.
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- Bleeding Edge
- Costume Quest 2
- Crackdown 3 (campaign)
- Destiny 2
- F1 2019
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
- Gears of War 4
- Gears 5 Ultimate Edition
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
- Halo Wars 2
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- Halo: Spartan Assault
- Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
- Killer Instinct Definitive Edition
- Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
- Minecraft Dungeons
- The Outer Worlds
- Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Quantum Break
- ReCore: Definitive Edition
- Ryse: Son of Rome
- Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition
- State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
- Sunset Overdrive
- Super Lucky's Tale
- Tell Me Why
- The Bard's Tale Trilogy
- Wasteland 2: Director's Cut
- Wasteland 3
- Wasteland Remastered
- Yakuza Kiwami 2
PowerA will launch not one, but two new controllers built for xCloud. One is a more traditional controller with mount, set to launch in the coming weeks. Another controller, aimed for the holiday season of 2020, looks a bit more like a Nintendo Switch-style dock for your phone. They may join the list of best accessories for Project xCloud in the future, we'll go hands on to let you know.
Project xCloud is how Microsoft aims to reach beyond console to bring more gamers into the ecosystem. Thanks to Xbox Game Pass, Project xCloud is by far the best-value cloud streaming service on the market, outstripping the library offered by PlayStation Now, and decimating Stadia's purchase model. It remains to be seen whether it takes off and goes mainstream, but no other company has a better chance at achieving that right now.
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If you want to play games from Microsoft's xCloud service on your phone, then you'll need Android. If you already have a phone, then great, you're all set, but if you're looking to get a new device without breaking the bank then have a look at this little lot.