MICROSOFT AND SONY, TWO VERY DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHIES.
We could then imagine a Microsoft that fully embraces this new technology by releasing, for example, an Xbox at a mini price, a terminal designed just to connect to remote servers to play the new Gears of War or the next headlines for the console. Likewise, the deployment of 5G could gradually democratize large-scale video games on mobile devices or on third-party platforms, such as smart TVs. Anyway, the democratization of xCloud is obvious in the future and it would be surprising not to see Microsoft continue on this path.
A philosophy at the opposite of that of its competitor Sony. If the Japanese manufacturer is also betting on Cloud Gaming with PS Now, its strategy is above all centered around the gaming machine and especially its exclusives. For the moment, Sony has not really displayed its ambition in terms of Cloud Gaming. To play future hits on PS5, you will need a PS5.
Microsoft and Sony could therefore take two different paths in the future, the first focusing on an innovative model based on streaming games and subscription, the second remaining on a formula that has always proven its worth.
xCloud on PC and Mac: Use Xbox streaming with Windows 10 and Apple
The xCloud service is part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and allows you to stream Xbox games to your smartphone. You can also use the offer on a PC with Windows 10 or a Mac, but you need additional free software. We will show you how to install xCloud on your computer.
So far, Microsoft’s game streaming service xCloud has only worked on one platform: Android mobile devices. However, it is also possible to use the service on PC and Mac. Then you can easily stream the games released for cloud gaming from Xbox Game Pass to your big screen and play them like other PC games. All you need is an Xbox Game Pass membership and emulation software that makes your computer think it’s an Android smartphone.
Tip 17 for desktops: xCloud plus BlueStacks
You can use xCloud with the free Android emulator specially designed for BlueStacks games on Windows 10 or macOS computers. For that, proceed as following:
xCloud on the computer: pros and cons
The method shown above is useful for anyone who doesn’t have an Xbox console but still wants to play console titles from Game Pass. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate combines both Game Pass for PC and Game Pass for console and cloud, but the offering differs slightly – so some games are part of xCloud, but not PC Pass. Even PC gamers can experience new games here.
On Mac, emulation is a great way to use Xbox Game Pass. And: Emulation brings the latest older titles to older devices, because games are computed in the cloud.
This is also the biggest downside to this method: it is only as good as your internet connection. If you have insufficient bandwidth and upload / download speed, you have to tackle the latency, which can drastically reduce the enjoyment of the game. A speed of at least 20 Mbps is recommended. With a fast line, the gaming experience can even approach native calculations on your own hardware.
xCloud: Microsoft finalizes its app for Windows and thinks of 1080p
Microsoft continues to work on its xCloud application for Windows and is testing Full HD streaming. Support for 1080p would allow the cloud gaming service to overcome one of its main technical limitations.
Microsoft’s cloud gaming service wants to accelerate in 2021, after a year marked by deployment on Android. Present in 21 countries, Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly known as xCloud) is one of the priorities of the Redmond firm and the shortage of Xbox Series X / S is yet another reason to improve this service. While Stadia sees its future darken, Microsoft wants to move forward in this area considered the future of video games. In addition to the reluctance on the side of the players, the various players in the sector face many technical challenges. The company behind Windows is no exception to the rule, but it is preparing some exciting new features and improvements.
In early December, Microsoft announced the arrival of its cloud gaming service on PC in spring 2021. The Verge site confirms the progress made by the American firm and announces that it is finalizing the Xbox Game Streaming application for Windows. Our colleagues were able to access it in preview and confirm that it will allow, from a PC, to access an Xbox Series S or X in streaming or xCloud servers. Remote play is a feature well known to Xbox One gamers (via the Companion app on the Xbox console), but it is not yet available on newer consoles. Microsoft wants to remedy this and at the same time allow streaming play, an option for the time reserved for the Android smartphone.
Among the features, we also learn that this Windows 10 application supports a touch mode. An interesting option that will allow owners of Surface and other touch devices to play Xbox games without a controller. Note that the discovery of this application follows that of the web version, accessible from Chromium-based browsers such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. The sites The Verge and Windows Central also evoke another important novelty for xCloud.
One of the main technical limitations of xCloud will disappear
Microsoft appears to be preparing for 1080p streaming and is starting to test this option for xCloud. The cloud gaming service is currently limited to a 720p display, justified by Microsoft by questions of bandwidth and responsiveness. This HD definition may be sufficient on a smartphone screen, but it is too tight on a tablet or a large PC screen. The switch to Full HD would drastically improve the display quality and seems to accompany the upgrade of xCloud’s servers.
The platform was until now powered by blade servers with hardware equivalent to that of an Xbox One S. Microsoft had reassured its audience by confirming that it planned to switch to Xbox Series X servers in 2021. As a reminder, xCloud should also land on iOS by circumventing restrictions imposed by Apple.
xCloud: Microsoft would test 1080p, the launch on PC is approaching?
xCloud, the cloud gaming service included in the Game Pass offer, should soon switch to 1080p. The developers have the opportunity to test this resolution, so it should be available soon for subscribers.
xCloud coming soon to PC?
Microsoft only offers 720p HD, which is sufficient for use on a smartphone, but is a bit limited when the screen size is larger, for example on a computer. And precisely, it has been several months since rumors evoke the arrival of xCloud from the PC. Microsoft would also test a web version of its streaming service.
Not to mention also that Phil Spencer, vice president of Xbox Game Studios has confirmed that the cloud gaming service will be available on PC and consoles, without however giving a specific date: “it’s in the long list of cool things on which the xCloud team is working ”.
An upgrade of the xCloud servers would also be scheduled for 2021 with a transition to more powerful hardware at the level of an Xbox Series X, while currently we are closer to an Xbox One S.
Microsoft: xCloud will launch on PC and Xbox
Microsoft’s cloud gaming service, currently deployed on Android devices, will indeed arrive on PCs and Xbox consoles. But Microsoft refuses for the moment to give a timetable.
Already launched on smartphones and tablets, Microsoft’s xCloud service is expected to arrive not only on PCs, but also on Xbox Series home gaming consoles. But those in a hurry will probably have to wait a few months, because according to Phil Spencer, director of the Xbox branch, this version of the service for PC and consoles “is in the long list of cool things on which the xCloud team is working. , it’s just a little further down the list. “
Suffice to say that between development, bug hunting, validation and the beta phase, it will take a while before enjoying the service. But xCloud, which allows games from Microsoft servers to be broadcast in real time to target devices with minimal latency, would be a weapon of choice. Which would thus complete his ambition to make his Game Pass Ultimate the playful multiplatform weapon on which he is counting to try to overtake the champion of consoles, the Japanese Sony.
But Microsoft has many battles to fight, including successfully deploying xCloud on iOS, a real legal-technical puzzle, given the drastic conditions of use imposed by Apple.