Recap: When Microsoft announced the expansion of Xbox Game Pass to TVs, they also said that their data centers were being upgraded to deliver Xbox Series X-level of quality to those playing through xCloud. Two weeks later, the first reports about Microsoft delivering what it has promised have started to appear.
As reported by Tom Warren and corroborated by multiple Reddit users, games such as Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege are now playable through xCloud with improved graphics, featuring options that allow users to choose between increased resolution or improved frame rate. Moreover, all games in the xCloud library received a significant reduction in loading times.
Some users also reported other games that have started to run better since the upgrade, including Dirt 5, No Man's Sky and Destiny 2. However, games like Forza Horizon 4 were still running as they were before.
it looks like xCloud just got the Xbox Series X hardware upgrade for certain games. Yakuza, Rainbow Six Siege, and others are showing 120fps or gfx options, and are loading faster pic.twitter.com/BUU866V0BF— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 22, 2021
It's worth noting that even if the games are running on Xbox Series X-level hardware, that doesn't mean that the games are running in Xbox Series X mode. As pointed out by a Reddit user, when he launched No Man's Sky through xCloud and went to the video options, he noticed that there was a toggle for "Xbox Series S Enhancement" instead of Series X.
As for the rest of the non-Xbox Series X/S enhanced games, despite the improved loading times, frame rates remain untouched. Even if they are compatible with Xbox Series X/S's FPS boost to improve Xbox One games, the feature doesn't seem to be working at the moment.
One reason that comes to mind to explain why the games are running in Xbox Series S mode is cost reduction. If Microsoft is using Azure's infrastructure, it would be less resource-demanding to provide gamers with an Xbox Series S experience through the cloud than an Xbox Series X's.
However, there's also the possibility that as the upgrade rollout has just begun, maybe Microsoft is starting slowly and will eventually ramp up to deliver Series X quality to all games. We expect Microsoft will clarify the xCloud upgrade soon.