What just happened? Microsoft has announced that it is bringing Xbox Cloud Gaming to Windows PCs via the Xbox app. This beta version is only available to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members who are part of the Insider program, allowing them to access the streaming service natively rather than using a browser.
Microsoft in its announcement post writes that those eligible to take part will be able to play over 100 Xbox games on all types of PCs, from cutting edge rigs to aging, potato-like laptops. All they need is a compatible controller connected via Bluetooth or USB. Microsoft also recommends a high-speed internet connection: 5Ghz Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection of 10Mpbs down.
If you’re an Insider with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you can try out the service by launching the Xbox app, clicking on the new “cloud games” option, and selecting a game.
Non-Insiders who want to stream on PC through a web browser, which has all the same games as the app, can do so here. There are benefits to accessing xCloud via the Xbox app, though, such as “some new features to help you get started, including easy-to-access information on controller and network status, social features to stay connected with friends, and the ability to invite people – even those also playing on cloud without the game installed – to join you in a game,” explains Jason Beaumont, partner director of Xbox experiences.
Another new feature in the Xbox app is the ability to stream games to a PC from an Xbox console connected to the same network. You can even power the console on and off from within the app.