Project xCloud streaming hits Xbox Game Pass early with imminent open beta
Microsoft prepares for Xbox Game Pass' cloud gaming expansion with an open beta for Ultimate-tier subscribers.
What you need to know
- Microsoft debuts its Xbox game streaming service on September 15, bundled within its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for Android devices.
- The company has now outlined plans to launch its Project xCloud tech into the Xbox Game Pass beta app ahead of launch, with availability from August 11 in all launch regions.
While Microsoft previously discussed intentions to bring its Project xCloud game-streaming tech to Xbox Game Pass on September 15, it appears those eager to get hands-on won't have to wait. The company has now outlined plans to serve a limited-time beta test through the Xbox Game Pass beta app on Android, for those with its Ultimate-tier subscription.
Project xCloud testing has been underway for some time, with Microsoft distributing early invites to preview trials in the latter months of 2019. The initial offering featured just four titles to stream to Android devices, steadily scaling with dozens of supplementary experiences from the existing Xbox One library. But unlike the standalone Project xCloud Preview, its imminent beta finally integrates its low-latency streaming directly into the Xbox Game Pass mobile app.
The Xbox Game Pass beta app, openly available for download through the Google Play store, receives its latest release on August 11 at 9 a.m. EDT / 6 a.m. PDT, flipping the switch for a new audience in the 22 supported launch countries. That includes regions in North America, Western Europe, alongside Korea, with further expansions to come over months ahead.
"As we approach the launch of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on September 15, we're entering a limited beta period to ensure a smooth transition of the cloud gaming experience to the Xbox Game Pass app on Android," a Microsoft spokesperson tells Windows Central.
"Existing Xbox Game Pass (Beta) app users will get the opportunity to test a subset of the available titles as we ready the experience for broader availability next month. This limited beta is critical to providing the best possible experience for members at launch and should not be considered indicative of the final experience or library."
The Xbox Game Pass beta app for Android will be the first hands-on opportunity outside of the Project xCloud Preview, expected to show our first look at the revamped design geared around cloud gaming. Those on iPhone and iPad devices won't be getting hands-on anytime soon, with Apple actively blocking its rollout due to App Store policy — and Microsoft isn't happy about it.
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Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.