It's official, Microsoft's cloud-gaming service, Project xCloud, will launch this September for free to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers.
For the uninitiated, the xCloud service will give you access to Xbox Game Pass games on phones, tablets and laptops that don't have the components to withstand the power of a full-fledged AAA game.
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How Project xCloud will work
Right now, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for PC all for just $14.99. However, an Xbox Wire blog revealed that Microsoft is adding Project xCloud to that mix and it won't increase the price, which means that this already great bundle will become more valuable for consumers.
Microsoft states that over 100 Xbox Game Pass titles will be available when xCloud launches. While it's unclear which countries will be supported, Microsoft built Azure data centers across the US and Europe that feature Xbox One S blades, which will be used to stream games via the cloud. Yes, the Xbox One S is a bit old, but Microsoft previously stated that it would upgrade the hardware to the Xbox Series X sometime in 2021.
Keep in mind that the only way to access xCloud at launch will be via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
"Over time we will continue to expand how we introduce streaming as part of the platform, and playing games that you own that aren’t part of the subscription," said Microsoft’s Xbox chief, Phil Spencer, in an interview with The Verge. "For launch, we’re putting it in Ultimate for no additional cost. We think it’s a good audience for us to start with, and it’s an audience that plays a lot of games."
Xbox has become one of the most accessible gaming platforms and is continuously striving to be even better than its competition in the way it treats consumers.
"We want to bring xCloud, eventually, to every screen that someone can stream games to. Right now we’re just saying mobile," Spencer continued. "There are discussions going on and we’re working through things. We’ll talk more specifically about which mobile devices through August and the September launch."
Stay tuned for more information about xCloud and the future of Xbox as we dive into the Xbox 20/20 event next week.