Microsoft has been pushing its cloud gaming service on every device possible, but PC gamers were seemingly left out in the cold. Now, PC gamers need not lament anymore, as the Redmond tech giant has finally released the Xbox Cloud Gaming PC beta for you to try.
Project xCloud Finally Arrives on PCs
Microsoft broke the good news on the Xbox Wire. While it's welcome news for cloud gamers everywhere, the service is still in beta on the PC. As such, you'll need to jump through a few hoops to use it.
First, you'll need to be an Xbox Game Pass subscriber at the Ultimate tier and reside in one of the 22 countries that supports the Insider build of Microsoft's gaming service. You'll also need to plug in a controller to your PC.
Beforehand, the Game Pass Ultimate tier gave you access to hundreds of PC games to play, but you had to download them to your PC and use your own hardware to render the game. With cloud gaming, the game instead loads up and plays on Microsoft's servers, which streams the game to your device.
This cloud-based system means your PC doesn't have to sweat the 3D rendering; it just needs to handle a live video feed. Because of this, you can play some of the most graphically intense games on the highest settings on a weak PC or a smart TV.
Even better, because the game is just a video stream, Microsoft has been working on letting you play your favorite games in a web browser. If you want to give this feature a try, ensure you're signed into an account with an active Ultimate pass on the Xbox website. Then, go to www.xbox.com/play to see your library of games. Click on the one you want to play, and it should load up in your browser.
Unfortunately, because it's a beta, there are still a few things missing. For instance, mouse and keyboard enthusiasts will be annoyed to discover that they can't use their favorite control scheme on PC just yet, and will have to make do with an Xbox controller for the time being. However, it's a promising start for Microsoft's cloud gaming service on PC.
The Best of Console Gaming, Now on PC
With Microsoft bringing its cloud gaming service to every device imaginable, PC gamers have likely been wondering if the gaming giant had forgotten all about them. Fortunately, you can now give Project xCloud a shot on PC, even if it's a tad bare-bones right now.
Because cloud gaming doesn't ask a lot from your hardware, you can essentially turn any device with a good internet connection into a gaming console. For instance, Android users have enjoyed Microsoft's cloud gaming service for quite a few months now by playing system-intensive games on the small screen without a hitch.