Cloud Gaming is Coming to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on September 15

Posted on August 4, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Project xCloud, Xbox with 15 Comments

Microsoft is describing the functionality provided by Project xCloud in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as a new feature called “cloud gaming.” And there will be all kinds of new controllers for mobile.

“Cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass is the next major step in our ongoing vision to put you at the center of the experience, to give you more value from your games and membership, and to remove the barriers from play,” Microsoft corporate vice president Kareem Choudhry writes in the announcement post. “Last month we laid out our commitment to you and announced cloud gaming, powered by Project xCloud, will be part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at no additional cost. Today we’re excited to share more about what you can expect.”

Here are the details.

Cloud gaming on Android phones and tablets. Beginning September 15, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will be able to play over 100 games from the cloud on their Android phone or tablet. Cloud gaming will launch in beta for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in 22 markets to ensure stability as Microsoft scales the feature to millions of gamers, it says.

Over 100 cloud gaming titles at launch. When cloud gaming launches as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, players will have access to over 100 games playable from the cloud, including Minecraft Dungeons, Destiny 2, Tell me Why, Gears 5, Yakuza Kiwami 2, and more. Microsoft has also previously committed to providing day-one access to new titles from Xbox Game Studios as part of Xbox Game Pass  in the cloud on the day they release.

Xbox experience will sync across cloud gaming too. Your friends list, achievements, controller settings, and saved game progress will be available on any device you choose to use.

New co-op experiences. Cloud gaming will unlock new “couch co-op experiences” with traditional online games, Microsoft says. “Sail off to adventure in Sea of Thieves on your tablet while a friend plays alongside you on console, right in the same room,” Choudhry adds. “Cloud gaming removes the need to wait until you can access your console in order to play your favorite games: Just pick up your phone or tablet and play the games you want, any time you want.”

Cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be available on Android devices in 22 markets at launch, Microsoft says, including 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.

And as you may know, you can play Project xCloud/cloud gaming with standard Xbox One Bluetooth Wireless and PlayStation DUALSHOCK 4 controllers. But Microsoft has also partnered with Razer, PowerA, 8BitDo, and NACON to create all-new accessories specifically designed for cloud gaming. “These include different types of phone clips that adapt to a wide range of devices, travel controllers that fit in any bag, and exclusive Xbox-branded controllers that split apart and attach to the side of your phone,” Microsoft notes.

Also, here’s a little tip: Pay attention to Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event today as there will be some Game Pass cloud gaming news.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Cloud Gaming is Coming to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on September 15”

  1. brothernod

    Dear Microsoft

    give me the iPhone/iOS details please.

  2. Scott Ross

    I just bought a new iPhone a month ago. The Fact that xcloud being android only at launch and the pixel 4a being really affordable gives me buyers remorse.

  3. hellcatm

    Is xCloud coming to PC? Or they're deciding to skip the PC? Are they having troubles getting it to work on PC? If they do make it for PC will the PC only Gamepass get xCloud, or will you have to buy into ultimate even if you don't have a console? Will it come to Fire Stick and Roku?

    I just keep hearing about xCloud on Console and mobile but nothing about PC or Fire Stick or Roku. If they're not planning on any of these, I think it's a big miss for Microsoft.

  4. tdemerse

    For those wondering about the Android exclusivity, it's a direct result about Apple's store policy limitations... If it's bothering you, you should reconsider your relationship with that company because as you can see, those policies are negatively affecting your experience.

  5. matthewitt

    They gotta figure out this iOS thing. They're leaving a huge pile of cash on the table.

    • mattbg

      In reply to MattHewitt:

      I would not be surprised at all to hear that it's some necessary feature for this use case that is only available to Apple's apps.

    • IanYates82

      In reply to MattHewitt:

      Here's my suspicion...

      I used the "play your own home console on your Android phone" function during my last business trip (wow, a few months back now!!)

      Everything on the console was available to me *except* I could not access the xbox store app - that was specifically forbidden. That's probably a way for Microsoft to avoid in-app purchases occurring despite the xbox streaming being almost a "remote desktop" app.

      With the content moderation rules Apple imposes, and thus your own xbox console, or xCloud, giving access to all sorts of content, I could see that being some difficult rule that Microsoft and Apple are negotiating. I'd love to know more about the thinking on this front.

    • bfarkas

      In reply to MattHewitt: they are tied by App Store policies where they can literally only provide one game to user at a time. This is completely in apples court to accomplish, not Microsoft’s.

  6. kenosando

    iPhone users are perturbed, especially seeing most of the controllers are Android only, mainly for the fact of the USB-C connector. I wonder if MS would be subjected to the verdict that xCloud must offer in-app purchase of the subscription? That would be a big factor against iOS if that is the case.

    • mattbg

      In reply to kenosando:

      iOS should support the standard XBox One Bluetooth controller. Support was added in iOS 13 for using that with iOS games generally.

      I think the bigger problem is that the service itself won't be available on iOS yet :)

  7. Martin Sjöholm

    I have been in the beta group. I did not have an Android phone, so I got a cheap $149 Sony and the experience was excellent. The phone has a nice screen and I felt I was playing the games on best graphics settings. Amazed. My gut feeling is that there will be no more consoles after the next gen Xbox and possibly no gaming PCs either. The streaming is terrific.

  8. abdulla77

    Sad to see they're not going global with their strategy. How can Apple do it with Apple Arcade operating in countless number of countries around the world from day 1 and companies like Microsoft can't ??