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Microsoft testing 1080p, PC support for xCloud game streaming: report

xCloud is seemingly about to get a lot bigger

Xbox Series X gamepad

Microsoft is reportedly now running internal tests on 1080p streams and PC support for its Xbox Game Pass’ ‘Project xCloud’ game streaming feature.

The information comes from Windows Central via an obtained screenshot of Xbox’s streaming test tools for developers. The image contains benchmarks for network connectivity and shows Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice displaying in 1080p resolution.

Currently, one of the limitations of xCloud is its cap at 720p game streaming. Should 1080p support be added, it would bring xCloud in line with the resolution caps of other game streaming services, such as the base tier of Google Stadia.

Part of the reason for the 720p cap is the fact that xCloud’s servers are currently powered by Microsoft’s last-gen Xbox One S console. However, the company is set to upgrade servers to run off of the current-gen Xbox Series X’s architecture at some point this year.

With respect to PC support, The Verge has revealed an exclusive look at an unannounced and unreleased version of the ‘Xbox Game Streaming’ app for Windows. With the app, users would be able to stream games from xCloud or their Xbox Series X/S consoles.

According to The Verge, the Windows version of the app supports touch controls for Surface or other touchscreen devices. as well as “some form” of gyro controls that aren’t yet enabled.

These are the latest in a series of updates to Microsoft’s ever-growing xCloud platform.

Last month, a report also surfaced that pointed to Microsoft testing xCloud streaming in browsers, similar to how Google Stadia can run out of Chrome browsers. Further, Microsoft is officially working on a browser-based iOS app for xCloud to circumvent Apple’s restrictive App Store policies, set to release sometime this spring.

However, neither The Verge nor Windows Central had any update on when support for any of these platforms might rollout.

It’s possible that Microsoft could be planning to officially detail xCloud expansions soon, as the company will reportedly hold a March 23rd “what’s new for gaming” event. With Xbox general manager of marketing Aaron Greenberg recently stating that the company has “no game announcements or world premieres” coming soon, expanded xCloud functionality seems like a reasonable update to expect.

Source: Windows Central, The Verge

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