Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) is officially powered by Xbox Series X now, expands iPhone and PC access to everyone

Xbox Game Pass Cloud Tablet
Xbox Game Pass Cloud Tablet (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Xbox Cloud Gaming is Microsoft's game streaming service, which grants access to hundreds of Xbox games on mobile devices and PCs.
  • Today, Xbox Cloud Gaming is gaining a huge boost with the upgrade to Xbox Series X-based server blades now official.
  • This provides faster loading speeds, improved latency, better performance, and higher-quality visuals at 1080p and up to 60 FPS.
  • Access to Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS devices and PCs is also expanding to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers in 22 countries.

Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) is already one of the more complete game streaming platforms, with a large library of high-quality games at its disposal. Today, Microsoft's mobile-bound service is receiving two major upgrades. Xbox Cloud Gaming is now officially powered by Xbox Series X, and is available on even more devices.

We reported just over a week ago that some users were apparently seeing the Xbox Series X upgrade for Xbox Cloud Gaming, and now that transition is official and complete. Across the board, Xbox Cloud Gaming users can benefit from all the features and power of the Xbox Series X console, including:

  • Faster load speeds and transitions
  • Lower latency and better performance
  • Higher quality visuals
  • 1080p gameplay at up to 60 FPS
  • The ability to stream Xbox Series X|S Optimized games

Players have been awaiting this change for ages, and the upgrade should massively improve the overall Xbox Cloud Gaming experience, regardless of the device you're using or your internet connection. This also opens up the possibility of bringing current-gen-only games like Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbox to Xbox Cloud Gaming, and even using Xbox Cloud Gaming to bring those games to the older Xbox One consoles.

Alongside the upgrade to custom Xbox Series X server blades, Xbox Cloud Gaming is also expanding its reach. Access to Xbox Cloud Gaming through PCs and iOS phones and tablets was restricted to a handful of insiders, but is now available to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers in 22 countries through Users on iOS devices and PC will immediately benefit from the upgrade to Xbox Series X hardware.

Of course, Xbox couldn't leave matters there. The "one more thing" for today was an expansion of the Designed for Xbox program, which guarantees a level of quality and compatibility for all Xbox gaming accessories. The Designed for Xbox program now includes Xbox Cloud Gaming accessories for iOS, with a handful already announced today. The new products include:

  • Backbone One for iPhone. The Backbone One is compatible with a wide range of iPhones, and aims to transform your phone into a seamless gaming device. The Backbone One includes integrated support for Xbox Cloud Gaming, including a "Capture" button to capture and share your gameplay. For new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, you can even get three months included with the Backbone One.
  • Razer Kishi for iPhone. The award-winning Razer Kishi is getting a makeover for iPhone, and is part of the Designed for Xbox program. All the things that make the Razer Kishi the best controller for Xbox Cloud Gaming are present here, but with support for a wide range of iPhones.
  • OtterBox Power Swap. These new OtterBox Power Swap controller batteries make it extremely easy to keep your Xbox Wireless Controller powered, by letting you quickly change out rechargeable batteries for fresh ones. This is ideal for those who use the same controller when gaming in multiple places like Xbox, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming.

If you're interested in any of these Xbox Cloud Gaming Designed for Xbox accessories, you can find all the links below.

Xbox Cloud Gaming, previously known as Project xCloud, is backed by Xbox Game Pass, and is one of the services offered to an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber. With today's upgrades, Xbox Cloud Gaming is now available on Android, iOS, and PC devices, and is powered by Xbox Series X. To get the most out of the best Xbox Cloud Gaming games, you might want to consider one of the best Xbox Cloud Gaming controllers.

Xbox Cloud Gaming also lets you leave the controller behind for some games and use custom touch controls instead. For the complete list of games that support touch controls, check out our ultimate games list for Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.