Xbox Project xCloud Streaming Preview Launches This October

Google Stadia may have been this year’s biggest announcement when it comes to new-fangled video game streaming tech, but for a year now we’ve also known that Microsoft has been cooking up something similar with Project xCloud. Details have been scarce, presumably because this very next-gen feature won’t fully come into its own until the next-gen Xbox Scarlett launches next holiday. But when it comes to something like streaming, vigorous online stress tests are crucial to make sure folks ultimately have a good experience with the final product.

So today during Inside Xbox Microsoft announced that the public preview for Project xCloud is happening, wait for it, this October.

Starting right now users in the United States, United Kingdom, and Korea can register for a potential slot in Microsoft’s new streaming service. You’ll need a Microsoft account, an Xbox One Wireless Controller, and a device running Android 6.0 or above with Bluetooth 4.0. Once you’re good to go you can enjoy a selection of full-fledged Xbox One console games on your phone or tablet. Streaming works over Wi-Fi or mobile networks. And if you think mobile networks aren’t strong enough, here’s what Corporate VP of Project xCloud Kareem Choudhry said in a statement.

“Mobile networks are an important part of global connectivity today,” Microsoft’s mobile partners include SK Telecom, T-Mobile, and Vodafone. “So we’ll do our best to ensure that gamers have a great experience and Project xCloud is optimized for the widest range of network configurations possible.”

As for the games, the xCloud beta includes a nice mix of Microsoft first-party titles that should test the service in various ways. Gears 5 and Halo 5: Guardians are both beautiful shooters that also reward high precision. Killer Instinct is a technical fighting game so smooth performance is a must. And Sea of Thieves is all about cooperating with friends online.

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Since this is a test, like Stadia’s predecessor Project Stream, don’t expect Project xCloud to work perfectly, and that’s even if you get in. But we’re one step closer to physical video game consoles becoming irrelevant. Cool?

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