Microsoft Details How to Join xCloud Preview Program

Posted on September 24, 2019 by Brad Sams in Games, Xbox One with 11 Comments

Last year, when Microsoft announced xCloud, the company’s game-streaming service, the simple question of “when will it become available” has been on the tongue of every gamer. Today, during Microsoft’s Inside Xbox event, the company shared the first details about how to join the preview program.

In the coming weeks, Microsoft will begin sending invites out to those who have registered to join the preview of xCloud. The service will be offered in the US, UK, and Korea. If you are in the US or UK, you can register here, Korea can register here, and after that, it’s up to being a winner of the preview lottery.

But, there are a few things you need to know that will help determine if you will be able to participate in the preview. First and foremost is that you need to be using an Android device, iOS users are out of luck at the moment.

Specifically, you will need a device running Android 6.0 or higher with Bluetooth 4.0, and a Bluetooth Xbox One controller. Along with the right hardware, you will need the new Microsoft Game Streaming application as well.

Somewhat surprisingly, you will be able to play xCloud over WiFi and mobile networks from day one. I would have expected that the first phase of the preview would be limited to your own home network at first but it looks like Microsoft is confident in letting gamers try the service using LTE as well.

If you do not make it into the first round of invites for the preview program, Microsoft says that they will be adding more users during the trial period after the initial group provides feedback.

Microsoft is limiting the games that can be played during the xCloud preview period to Halo 5, Gears 5, Killer Instinct and Sea of Thieves. More games will be added in the future, but this is what the company will be allowing xCloud preview testers to trial; you do not need to own any of the games to participate in the preview.

There is no definitive length for the preview of xCloud. Microsoft will run the program until they are satisfied with the feedback and results of the trial but it’s not hard to imagine that there is pressure from Stadia to get this product out the door sooner, rather than later.

This is the next big step in the xCloud journey for Microsoft. If all goes well, in the not-too-distant future, you will be able to play your Xbox games anywhere, on any device, at any time.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Microsoft Details How to Join xCloud Preview Program”

  1. darkgrayknight

    Streaming from my own console is actually what I'd like to do

    • FullyLoaded

      In reply to darkgrayknight:

      I don't see how streaming to a console could be better in any way than a service like Xbox Game Pass (any time soon). Well I guess waiting ~1 minute for the streaming to start is better than waiting ~20 minutes for the game to download to a point where it is playable but I find games download fast enough for me.

      • Patrick3D

        In reply to FullyLoaded:

        Being able to buy an Xbox One ADE (instead of an X) and stream games at 4K would save people $200-$300. They could get to the point of just selling a $50 HDMI dongle or bundling an embedded app with TV's, greatly lowering the cost of entry.

  2. hellcatm

    I thought with XCloud you were suppose to be able to play via PC as well? Actually any device with a good enough internet connection? Or they're just testing it with Android now?

  3. RonV42

    Baby steps, they have to get this right or Paul will rip MS a new one on Windows Weekly. All it will take it one hiccup and Leo and Paul will never see this service as viable. I hope everything goes as Microsoft plans with these services.

  4. Pungkuss

    That Microsoft is testing with phones at 720p has me concerned. Google tested last year on PCs using Chrome at 1080p. I just hope Microsoft isn't protecting the last Xbox console, making this thing Phone only. That would be DOA.

  5. james_wilson

    To have this running on a Mac / iPad or Apple TV would be great and aleviate one of the issues of Mac Ownership - gaming.

  6. sivey42

    On the signup page, they talk about a controller clip that's sold at the microsoft store. Anyone have a link for that? I can't find it. I see plenty of them elsewhere, but was curious which one they are selling direct.

  7. sharpsone

    I'm intrigued by the idea, but small screen gaming still feels weak in comparison to an elite gaming monitor or big screen. This will help make Xbox games available to all but at the end of the day a tablet/phone isn't my preferred gaming device.

  8. definiteyew2940

    I wood like to bare Tostitos it