Microsoft has started testing Xbox Cloud Gaming, also called xCloud, integration with Xbox consoles.
Some Xbox Insiders in the ‘Alpha Skip-Ahead’ and ‘Alpha’ rings will gain access to xCloud starting September 28th. xCloud allows paying subscribers to stream games over the internet to their Xbox console (it also works on mobile devices and computers).
More than just game streaming, xCloud integration could allow Xbox owners to ‘try before they buy’ without needing to download a full game or a demo. Plus, cloud-based gaming could bring other benefits, such as letting players jump straight into a game with a friend just from an invite.
Over 100 Xbox Game Pass titles will be available as part of the initial xCloud test. Xbox Insiders will be able to tell which games support xCloud by looking for a cloud icon on the game art (it should appear in the bottom-right corner opposite the ‘Game Pass’ logo).
Like other platforms, Xbox consoles will support streams up to 1080p at 60fps, and the company appears to be pushing it more as a feature for trying games rather than as a replacement for console gaming.
Microsoft says xCloud integration will appear on all Xbox consoles by the end of the year. In other words, Xbox One owners will eventually be able to stream Xbox Series X and S exclusives — that could go a long way towards making it a proper game demo feature and help push users towards upgrading their console to get access to fancy new games.