Project xCloud streaming tech is coming to Xbox Game Pass in 2020
Microsoft detailed its plans for the future of Project xCloud today as part of its X019 presentation in London. The Xbox game-streaming tech is already in preview, and that test is getting more than 50 new games for people to try. But Microsoft also revealed that it’s going to add streaming as an option for everyone in the Xbox ecosystem.
Project xCloud boss Kareem Choundry explained the company’s plan in a blog post.
“In 2020 we will enable gamers to stream from the cloud Xbox games that they already own or will purchase,” writes Choundry. “We will also add game streaming from the cloud to Xbox Game Pass. Gamers will be free to discover, choose, and play their favorite games anywhere and everywhere.”
Coundry and Microsoft didn’t provide many details beyond that. I’ve asked Microsoft to clarify if it is adding streaming at no additional charge to buying a game and subscribing to Game Pass.
In response, it provided me the following statement from an Xbox spokesperson:
“All we can say for now is: We want to offer choice in how players stream games from the cloud. We’ll have more details to share at a later date.”
But Microsoft is positioning streaming as an additive feature to jumping onto Xbox. You can buy games to play on console or PC. And then you can subscribe to Xbox Game Pass to get a huge library of games for $10 per month. And now streaming gives you one more way to enjoy that content on your own terms.
Microsoft expands its streaming test
While looking ahead to adding streaming to its existing products, Microsoft also revealed its more immediate plans for Project xCloud. The technology is in a testing phase on phones right now to a closed group.
Now, Microsoft is expanding that test to include more people. A new wave of invites is going out today, November 14. And now is the time to get in because the preview is getting a deluge of games for players to test. In 2020, xCloud Preview is expanding beyond the U.S., the U.K., and South Korea. Microsoft is planning to add Canada, India, Japan, and Western Europe at that time.
“Expanding to additional markets over time is an important step in our journey to delight the 2 billion gamers in the world,” writes Choudry. “We’ll have more details to share soon on when and how to register.”
The Project xCloud Preview is also going to move to additional devices.
“Next year, we’ll bring Project xCloud to Windows 10 PCs,” writes Choudry. “And [we] are collaborating with a broad set of partners to make game streaming available on other devices as well.”
Microsoft is even enabling more Bluetooth controllers to work with xCloud including Sony’s PlayStation 4 gamepad, the DualShock 4.