Today on Xbox Wire, Microsoft revealed the first hard information about the long-awaited Project xCloud game streaming tests, set to begin sometime in October.
Gamers in the United States, United Kingdom, and South Korea will be the first able to sign up and participate in the test, which you can do over here. (opens in new tab) It sounds as though this preview program is relatively far from being a full product, with limited access, features, and content, as Microsoft commits itself to testing and harvesting data and feedback before the global launch. Microsoft is also not prepared to talk business just yet, declining to explain how Project xCloud cloud game streaming will be monetized, although it's fair to assume it'll be some sort of subscription service, possibly tied to Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass.
Related: Sign up for Project xCloud here (opens in new tab)
Xbox CVP Kareem Choudhry described Microsoft's ambitions with xCloud in a blog post, emphasizing that this phase of the rollout is all about user feedback.
US and UK users can sign up over here (opens in new tab). South Korean users need to sign up over here, with invites to both rolling out in the coming weeks. Since Microsoft is seeking to work closely with ISPs for optimization, SK Telecom is the exclusive carrier for Project xCloud in South Korea to start with. Microsoft is working more closely with Vodafone in the UK and T-Mobile in the U.S. for optimized streaming experiences. Any carrier or ISP in the U.S. or UK will work, however.
Only Android 6.0 and above users will be eligible initially, with a Bluetooth 4.0 or higher handset. A Microsoft Account and a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controller are also required, which sounds as though the touch controls aren't yet ready for public preview. Microsoft also recommends a controller phone mount, like these.
Initially, only Gears 5, Killer Instinct, Sea of Thieves, and Halo 5: Guardians will be available, with more games rolling out over time. You won't need to buy any of the games, nor subscribe to any service during the preview phase. Microsoft is opening up testing to a "small" amount of users initially, with more being invited in the coming weeks as they test server stability. There will be a specific app to download for xCloud, dubbed "Microsoft Game Streaming" for Android, which will be available to those invited to the test.
Whether or not Project xCloud actually works at scale remains to be seen, but my impressions from E3 2019 were fraught with excitement over the possibilities of this nascent tech. The wait is nearly over.
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.
Jez Corden is a Senior 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!
Registered. T-Mobile US, Note 10+. Hopefully I will get accepted to the invite. We don't have 5G or even a solid cell signal in some parts of where I travel but the Wi-Fi is strong with this one. The city I live in has solid LTE though.
Good luck matey, signed up here too.
As am I. Good luck to all. Jez, any news from MS on better controller to phone accessories? Or are they anticipating 3rd party to show up and solve the issue?
I just registered as well, I have 200mb Spectrum home internet and AT&T for mobile service and I consistently get at least 50mb out of it. I will be using a Samsung Galaxy S8+.
I can wait for it to get to my country. But I thought that a PC app would be part of this. Or is this gonna be smartphone-only?
Why do you even need an app? Just make a website so it doesn't matter what device you are using.
Depends I think.
Maybe you want to write your own description, for speed?
Maybe you need some feature webview doesn't have?
Didn't stop Stadia. You could stream from anything running a compatible browser. I am sure Microsoft's final product will be much different than this closed beta though. Hopefully it won't have these limitations, hopefully it won't be tied to Xbox. The point of streaming is to get away from physical consoles. Microsoft has a risk of being left behind if they impose artificial limits based on their XBox business.
I think this Beta is a good indication that it won't be tied to the box itself. It's like Xbox on Windows 10 (or now other platforms) , it's just the brand and services. All you need to do is sign up for a MS account. Now obviously if you need the console streaming aspect, then you need a physical box.
It's not ties to the console. You can play without any console using your Android device and an internet connection.
Well Stadia is having latency issues through a browser. And the tests of Xcloud were significantly better latency. So maybe browser isn't the way to go.
Registered. All done.
Registered as well.
Registered. T-Mobile US. Using a OnePlus 7 Pro, which is very fast and has a consistently strong connection in most places.
Registered. Comcast / AT&t. Umidigi F1 Play. 6 gigabytes of RAM with Android pie.
Please Xcloud to the Netherlands 😴
Get the best of Windows Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Windows Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.