Cloud gaming has become a very serious business since both Google and Microsoft have pumped a lot of money in this technology. Two major cloud gaming services are now available on the market, and starting next month, we’ll be getting a third.If you’re not familiar with this technology, it’s quite easy to understand. Some companies sell games, while others sell the hardware needed to run these games. Cloud gaming technology not only removes the need for top-tier hardware but also lets you play games on the go (and we’re not talking about mobile games).Google Stadia and NVIDIA GeForce NOW offer the same service but in a slightly different manner. The former gives subscribers access to a very limited catalog of games and allows them to play these titles on PC and compatible Android phones. You’ll have to own these games before you can play them over cloud, or you can pay for a Premium subscription and receive access to one or two games per month.
On the other hand, NVIDIA GeForce NOW costs less and allows subscribers to play the games that they already own on a high-end PC with the latest graphic cards. All happening over cloud. Let’s say you want to play the most recent shooter game, but you can’t buy it because you have a potato PC. Paying around $5 per month will let you play your favorite games on any PC, no matter the hardware configuration, as long as you have a stable internet connection. The service is also compatible with Android smartphones, so that’s another plus.
Starting September, Microsoft will launch its own cloud gaming service that was in beta for more than a year. At the moment, the service is known as Project xCloud, but it will receive another name at launch. Speaking of which, Microsoft will launch Project xCloud on September 15 and access to the service will be free for all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers.
What is Microsoft Project xCloud?
With Project xCloud, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will be able to play more than 100 games from the cloud on their Android phone or tablet. Unlike the other two rival services, you don’t have to own any of the games to be able to play them. Since you’re paying for an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription ($15/month), you have access to hundreds of games that you can play on PC or Xbox One. Not all will be available to play on an Android smartphone/tablet, but over 100 is quite a lot.
In case you’re wondering whether or not you’ll be able to play titles like Destiny 2 and Gears 5, the answer is a big YES. Not only that, but all games released by Microsoft studios and some third-party developers will be available for free to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers on launch day.
One such example is Yakuza Kiwami 2 for PC and Tell Me Why, the upcoming game from fine folks at Dontnod, the studio behind the Life Is Strange series. Moreover, your Xbox gaming profile will be ported on your phone, including your friends list, achievements, controller settings, and save game progress.
This means that you can start playing Gears 5 on your Xbox One and continue on your Android phone from where you left off. You can even play with your friends who prefer other platforms like PC and Xbox, while you’re on your Android phone.
Unfortunately, Project xCloud, just like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, will not be available worldwide. You can indeed subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate even if you’re not living in a country where Microsoft’s services are officially available, but we’re not sure if it will work for those who want to play on their Android phones.
Anyway, at launch, Project xCloud will be available in 22 markets: 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.