Microsoft is rolling out public access to its cloud gaming service, Project xCloud, as a part of Xbox Games Pass Ultimate from September 15. From that day, users will be able to play over 100 games beamed from the cloud to their Android device—and it intends to push the latest Xbox Games Studios videogames to the cloud on day of release from here on out.
Xbox Games Pass Ultimate is the combination of both the PC and console passes, Xbox Live Gold, and, from September 15, Project xCloud for select games. It's clear Microsoft intends its new subscription service to be a one-stop shop for gamers in the near-future, at $15 all in, and the inclusion of cloud gaming should certainly help get it a little closer to realising that goal.
Games available via the streaming service include: Minecraft Dungeons, Destiny 2, Tell Me Why, Gears 5, and Yakuza Kiwami 2. Microsoft will announce the full catalog of over 100 games closer to the launch date.
What's perhaps most alluring of all is that Microsoft intends to bring all of its latest Xbox Game Studios titles coming to Games Pass onto the cloud streaming service on the very same day they release. That means Halo Infinite (opens in new tab) or Obsidian's Avowed (opens in new tab)—to name a couple of popular examples—could be available on your Android device to stream immediately on their respective launch days—no install required.
"...as we’ve committed to providing day-one access to new titles from Xbox Game Studios as part of Xbox Game Pass," Microsoft says in a blog post (opens in new tab). "It’s our intent to make those same games available in the cloud from the day they release."
Of course, there is one drawback to cloud gaming right now: quality. I've experienced a few streaming services over the past few years, including Project xCloud, and while it makes for a great alternative in the event that no local machine is available, it's still some ways off the local experience.
Still, the one-size-fits-all Games Pass offers flexibility to pick up and play on whichever device you choose—all your save games, achievements, and friends will follow you wherever you go.
It feels like Microsoft has a grand plan for its Games Pass subscription, and one which is still in its infancy. Cloud gaming similarly appears to be intrinsic to its 'putting you at the centre of gaming' push. And with there already being a great deal of value within the $10 a month (currently $5 a month for a limited time) Xbox Games Pass for PC (opens in new tab), here's hoping Microsoft has started how it intends to go on.