Xbox Cloud Gaming Comes to Xbox App for Windows

Posted on August 9, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Games, PC gaming, Project xCloud, Xbox with 7 Comments

Microsoft is letting Xbox Insiders preview Xbox Cloud Gaming—previously called Project xCloud—in Windows via the Xbox app. Currently, the only supported way to use the game streaming service in Windows is with Microsoft Edge or other web browsers.

“We’re excited to announce we’re bringing Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) to the Xbox app on Windows 10 PCs for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in 22 countries who are part of the Insider program,” Microsoft’s Jason Beaumont writes in a mouthful of prerequisites and technology names. “Xbox Cloud Gaming with the Xbox app provides the same great Xbox experience you’re used to: Play over 100 high-quality Xbox console games with your friends, pick up from a saved game you started on your Xbox, or try out a whole new game from the Xbox Game Pass library to decide if you want to download it to your console.”

Xbox Cloud Gaming requires an Xbox Wireless Controller or other USB- or Bluetooth-based game controller, Microsoft notes, and the Xbox app apparently provides some new features for game streaming, including controller and network status information and social features, including the ability to invite people to join you in a game.

But the bigger issue here, of course, is all the prerequisites. So let’s step through that.

Xbox Cloud Gaming requires an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, which costs $14.99 per month. The Xbox app is free and available for download from the web (and will later be included as part of Windows 11). But to access Xbox Cloud Gaming in the Xbox app on Windows 10 (or, I assume, Windows 11 betas) today, you have to be an Xbox Insider. And to do that, you have to apply via the Xbox Insider Hub app on an Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S console, or via the Microsoft Store on a Windows 10 PC.

Whew. And good luck. 🙂

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Xbox Cloud Gaming Comes to Xbox App for Windows”

  1. christophercollins

    A few curiosities... Why are they using the browser for the testing? Wouldn't it be a better experience using the app? Did they build some things into Edge to improve the experience in the browser?

    It seems like they get better performance in an app or they wouldn't have had the drama with Apple about using Safari.

  2. christianwilson

    My best guess is that they had to go the browser route for iOS, so they supported Edge to get Windows supported until now, where it sounds like they are ready to move forward with support built right into the Xbox app. I hope it performs better than the browser experience has been for me.

    I am waiting for Xbox Cloud Gaming to release on Xbox consoles because at that point, you can try out games through the cloud before making the decision to take up local storage. I tried a lot of Game Pass games that didn't stick with me, and I could have saved that storage for something else. There are also some games I'd like to play every so often, but not frequently enough that I am willing to reserve the space.

  3. IanYates82

    I'd read that this also allows for streaming from Series X|S consoles. Is that the case? I just installed that leaked xbox app on my daughter's pc the other day to let her access the Series X from her laptop, so if I can switch to something more official that'd be great!

    • theotherguy

      That's what i'm more curious about at the moment. Don't have a series X at the moment, but console streaming is something i use enough (on XboxOne) that i'd be pretty annoyed if it wasn't available when the day arrives that i can get my hands on a series X.

  4. skyczy08

    Still no mouse + keyboard support though?

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