The xCloud and Xbox Game Pass cloud game on Android is a thing of witchcraft, but input lag may be your new Inquisition
I get to the game in the cloud very skeptical. With the song of YouTube videos running on pedals, having suffered problems with SteamLink when pulling WiFi, a similar situation with PS Now, and having seen the Stadia balloon deflate little by little, play Xbox One games on your mobile It didn’t seem too hopeful to me yesterday.
Today? Today I am a firm believer in what this technology has in store for us. To my surprise, the Xbox Game Pass beta on Android is very close to being a formidable ecosystem. A brutal experience that, without looking like a good substitute for anything, is a magnificent addition current options.
My first hours with the game in the cloud
It looks like witchcraft. And wherever there is witchcraft there will always be an inquisitor trying to ruin the cake. The game in the xCloud cloud is the one that dictates that, despite what promotional messages may shout from the rooftops, not everything is worth to play in conditions.
From the phone from which you play the controller you use and, of course, how commendable your connection and your internet operator can be, there are many factors to consider when it comes to getting the best performance out of this game system.
The adventure started with, apparently, better conditions. While it is true that pulling my usual phone -an iPhone 11- would have been the best option, I am not complaining because I have another device on hand that could well be a better-equipped device for this task: the Razer Phone from the end of 2017.
After an initial fight that led me to uninstall the Xbox Game Pass (Beta) app and clear Google Play Store cache, the third installation is the charm and the option to play in the cloud appears in the terminal. I can start playing now.
Something as simple as clicking on the game you want to try and a loading screen will take you to it.
I choose, for testing the matter, something as demanding on a visual level as on a control level– The spectacular beauty and heart-stopping curves of Forza Horizon 4.
And what to say about the first. Right from the start the game looks amazing. So impressive how to have a portable Xbox One in the palm of your hands. Brightness, reflections and performance that do not clash at all with what I have next to a television screen.
The shadow of input lag
Unfortunately the input lag makes it seem that the game is going on pedals and, after checking the connection speed that I am receiving from my apparent 100 MbI see that the Razer Phone is only receiving about 25 Mb of download. It is time to try another terminal to see if there is more luck.
I decide to try two other phones: a Huawei P20 and a Redmi Note 6 Pro. They are nothing to write home about, at least by current standards, but surprisingly there I do reach 100 Mb with which I should be left over. Unfortunately the actions of the command are still not appreciated at an acceptable speed and driving becomes almost impossible.
Can not be. The game looks luxurious even running straight ahead and sowing the case across the map. Something must be wrong. That’s when the light bulb lights up: the command.
I’m playing with a DualShock 4 via Bluetooth And, apparently, the ideal is to do it with an Xbox One controller. Unfortunately, the ones I have at home do not work via Bluetooth, so I have to find a solution. What if I connect it by cable?
USB-C male to USB female adapter and hence the DualShock 4 cable to the controller. Of course not the most comfortable way to play, but as the light is made in the game -after showing me a rainy night with some scandalous graphics-, it also does it at the control level.
A fantastic experience that can be even more so
The input lag is something appreciable to trained eyes. Thousandths of a second that continue to make the difference between playing locally or through the cloud, but that they are not an impediment to play casually. Not only can I run competitions, I can also win them, and the frustration I carried on my shoulders for the last hour is completely gone. xCloud clicks my head.
Playing with the rest of the games available, 39 in total and including recent gems like Streets of Rage 4 or Grounded, yields identical impressions. Everything looks great and controls almost perfect. It is the best excuse to convert any skeptic into a believer.
With a very comfortable application and exemplary service, only those details when it comes to finding the device, command and adequate connection stand between the success of xCloud and its coming to the masses.
It is precisely there that the recent agreement with Samsung becomes important and, ultimately, that Microsoft be so clear about your priorities for the new generation.
Yes Xbox Game Pass it was the future, add the game in the cloud of xCloud is to put a DeLorean embedded in his butt and send him several years ahead in time. Knowing that there is still a lot of room for improvement ahead, the letters of Microsoft begin to become clear.