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Xbox cloud streaming is now available in the Windows app

Xbox Game Pass app streaming

Microsoft announced on Monday that its cloud streaming service, Xbox Cloud Gaming, is playable in the Xbox Windows app starting today. Xbox Cloud Gaming first became available on PC in late June, but only via web browser. Now you can launch it from the same Xbox app used to browse and launch Game Pass games.

The Cloud Gaming beta is available in the Xbox app if you're an Xbox Insider member and have a Game Pass Ultimate subscription. You also have to live in one of the 22 countries that the streaming service has launched in so far, which currently includes the US, Canada and UK, but not Australia.

Cloud Gaming currently requires a controller connected via Bluetooth or USB, but hopefully at some point in the future it will also support mouse and keyboard. There are plenty of games on Game Pass like Grounded or Sea of Thieves well-suited to PC controls.

The games are streamed at 1080p, 60 fps from data centers running customized Xbox Series X hardware, and the biggest draw is that they can load up your save file from whatever Microsoft device you've previously played on. If you've blasted halfway through Doom Eternal on Game Pass on your desktop, for example, you can now stream it from the cloud to a laptop in the Xbox app and pick up where you left off.

Remember you'll need to join the Xbox Insider program to check out the new Cloud Gaming beta in Windows. Microsoft hasn't said how long its streaming service will stay in beta, but it's currently only available in about half of the countries Microsoft offers Game Pass, so it still has a ways to go. 

Wes Fenlon

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games. When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old RPG or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).