First hands-on with xCloud Xbox game streaming for PC

We’ve been hands-on with xCloud for PC, and it’s awesome.

Project xCloud is the codename of Microsoft’s cloud streaming game platform for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, letting you stream console-quality games to any device. The service is now available on Android, but is expected to come to iOS and PC in the future. And today, we’ve had our first-hands on session with Project xCloud streaming running on a Surface Pro X.

Project xCloud on PC looks and functions in almost the exact same way it does on Android, scaling easily to meet larger displays. The app we’ve been using is designed for internal testing, and it comes with all the same features from the Xbox Game Pass app on Android, including touch controls, which is ideal if you’re using a Surface device and you don’t have an Xbox controller handy or one of the clips from our best xCloud Xbox

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Razer Kaira Pro wireless gaming headset hits Xbox, xCloud rides shotgun

razer-kaira-and-kaira-pro-09557

The Kaira Pro (left) and Kaira (right) have extremely similar designs. The only exceptions are for the removable mic and extra controls on the Pro.


Lori Grunin/CNET

Just in time to greet the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S when they land on your doorstep, Razer has debuted a new Kaira line of wireless gaming headsets. While both can connect to a Windows 10 PC via an optional Xbox Wireless Adapter in addition to the built-in wireless of recent generations of Xboxes, the Kaira Pro works with PCs, phones and other devices via Bluetooth 5. It also has an internal mic so you don’t have to chat with a potentially awkward detachable boom mic. 

The Bluetooth connection is primarily intended for use with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate’s cloud gaming (nee xCloud) — hence Razer’s specific callout of Android phones, since Apple is less than welcoming to apps with cloud-gaming

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How the Xbox Series X (and xCloud) saved me from buying a gaming PC

Hotly anticipated Radeon cards expected to sell out. Shortages of GeForce GPUs. Even if you wanted to build a gaming PC right now, obtaining the all-important discrete GPU is practically impossible. But there is an alternative: The Xbox Series X. 

For the past week or so, I’ve tested a $499 Xbox Series X console provided by Microsoft. Announced Thursday and due to ship November 10, it remains one of the most accessible ways to play next-gen games at PC-like resolutions and frame rates. There are also a few things it can do that the PC can’t.

So who needs a gaming PC? Read on to see why you don’t.

Horrendous GPU shortages? Buy an Xbox!

The GPU shortage is real. Nvidia’s cards are selling out within minutes. Gamers are livestreaming and liveblogging their attempts at purchasing them. What good is listing the best graphics cards for PC gaming if

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Xbox Head Phil Spencer Hints At Streaming Sticks For xCloud Gaming

KEY POINTS

  • Xbox’s Phil Spencer hinted that streaming sticks for xCloud gaming could happen in the future
  • Microsoft may also follow a tiered system for Xbox Game Pass with different levels of access 
  • The evolution of cloud gaming is opening up different possibilities for gamers and developers

As the xCloud gaming service evolves, Microsoft may see streaming sticks in the future.

Microsoft executive vice-president for gaming Phil Spencer recently shared that insight in an interview with Stratechery while addressing the possibility of a tiered system for Xbox Game Pass.

“I think you’re going to see lower-priced hardware as part of our ecosystem when you think about streaming sticks and other things that somebody might want to just go plug into their TV and go play via xCloud,” Spencer said.

“You could imagine us even having something that we just included in the Game Pass subscription that gave you an ability

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Xbox chief Phil Spencer hints at an xCloud streaming stick

These remarks were part of a conversation around Xbox All Access. Unlike Sony, Microsoft is offering a 24-month payment plan for its next-generation consoles, the Xbox Series S and X. As part of the deal, customers gain access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes a library of downloadable games on PC and Xbox hardware, as well as streamable titles via xCloud. Spencer revealed that the Xbox team has debated internally whether All Access should be pitched as ‘Xbox Game Pass Platinum’ instead. He then talked about a plan that gives you “some kind of hardware guarantee” when new consoles are launched.

“We did that a little bit with Xbox One last year,” he explained. “Where if you got into All Access, you were guaranteed to get front in line when the Series X came out. People didn’t know the name [of the new console] at the time, but yeah.”

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Microsoft xCloud Streaming Service Adds 10 More Titles With Touch Controls

KEY POINTS

  • “Dead Cells” and “Killer Instinct” are among the 10 titles that offer touch support on xCloud
  • xCloud allows users to play games with either a wireless controller or touch controls
  • On-screen controls can be moved around for an optimal fit for individual players

Microsoft has confirmed 10 more titles with touch controls that will be available on its xCloud game streaming service.

The xCloud service allows users to play games with either a wireless controller or through touch controls but prior to this announcement, only “Minecraft Dungeons” had touch control support.

The 10 confirmed titles are “Dead Cells,” “Guacamelee! 2,” “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice,” “Hotshot Racing,” “Killer Instinct,” “New Super Lucky’s Tale,” “Slay The Spire,” “Streets of Rage 4,” “Tell Me Why,” and “UnderMine.”

Touch controls are integrated differently depending on the game at hand, GameSpot noted. In the case of “Hellblade,” different controls are seen when a player

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