The Announced Xbox Cloud Gaming Has Arrived on Consoles
Microsoft has been promoting the xCloud service for a long time, which is, in short, playing on-demand or playing as a service. Until recently, the xCloud service was in beta and could only be used via Android and iOS smartphones, as well as via personal computers. The xCloud test on Xbox consoles was available to Xbox Insiders program participants this entire fall after which Microsoft released test details.
However, that situation has begun to change as Microsoft these days (just before the holidays) brought the Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) service to the Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S consoles. This option will allow Xbox console users to not only try out games before deciding to download them for an extended period of time but will also allow Xbox One console owners to access next-gen titles in the future. Microsoft has also announced that more than 100 games will be available as part of the initial integration with xCloud.
XCloud will also allow Xbox console users to jump into multiplayer games as soon as friends send them out an invitation, avoiding waiting for the installation to complete. So, if you have a fast Internet connection, Xbox Series X | S, or Xbox One console, and you are subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you will be able to save a lot of space on SSD/HDD in just a few months. Xbox Cloud Gaming supports up to 1080p at 60 fps on Xbox consoles, just like Xbox Cloud Gaming on PCs, phones, and tablets.
This was just one of the novelties in the operation of Microsoft this year as the company launched several interesting projects, one of which is teaching students how to use their eSports enthusiasm to help them improve their social and emotional well-being, build 21st-century learning skills, and become responsible digital citizens. Esports can train students for a wide range of industries, including IT, marketing, game creation, graphic arts, and many others. This could also lead to one more benefit, which Microsoft didn’t specify, and which is learning eSports tips and tricks that can help youngsters earn some extra money from betting on popular games on bookies at Bookmaker-Expert.com.
Faster Gaming System
With Xbox Cloud getting upgraded around the world with Xbox Series X consoles, Microsoft’s cloud gaming system is set to get a lot faster. The update comes ahead of Microsoft’s announcement that cloud gaming capability will be integrated directly into the Xbox app for PC, and will also enable a number of additional features. As Microsoft bundles support for cloud gaming in Xbox All Access, allowing customers to play titles hosted remotely, xCloud has been gaining traction. Microsoft’s data centers, on the other hand, require the next-gen consoles themselves, which the company is already rolling out.
The company announced that they were nearing completion of replacing their Microsoft data centers throughout the world with the Xbox Series X’s latest generation of hardware. As a result, gamers may expect faster load times, higher frame rates, and Xbox Series X | S optimized games. It is part of a larger effort to improve cloud gaming performance, with xCloud serving as a method to give gamers a sample of new games before they buy or download them. Microsoft, for example, will integrate cloud gaming capability into the Xbox software for PC and the console experience later in 2022. This will allow it to offer features like “try before you download”, which allows users to play a portion of the game before it is entirely downloaded to their console or PC, which we already mentioned earlier in the text.
Cloud gaming in the browser will be available to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users ahead of time. Microsoft’s Edge, Google’s Chrome, and Apple’s Safari will all be supported, so PC and Mac users will be provided for, in addition to the existing smartphone compatibility.
Cloud-Based Platform Relieves Burden from Production
With this generation of Xbox, Microsoft has placed a strong emphasis on the cloud, which appears to be timely considering the ongoing lack of Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. Due to supply chain bottlenecks, demand for next-gen consoles continues to outpace the number of units that shops can stock even months after their official release. In this regard, moving some gamers to cloud-based platforms – either as a complete replacement or to keep them occupied till new material arrives – has helped relieve some of the burdens.
Still, as the number of Xbox games released increases, demand appears to be on the rise. Microsoft claims that more than 23 studios around the world are working on Xbox titles and that at least one new first-party game will be added to Game Pass each quarter.
What’s the Future of XCloud Compared to Its Competitors?
Although xCloud has been compared to Netflix and Spotify, the fact that it is being sold as an add-on to a current subscription tier indicates that it is still a work in progress. The same may be said about Microsoft’s main cloud gaming rivals: Sony’s PlayStation Now service has a similar all-in subscription model, with over 800 games available for $9.99 per month or $60 per year. PlayStation Now, on the other hand, is now only available on PCs and Sony’s PS4 console, and the company has made no commitment to mobile game streaming.
Google’s Stadia service, while lacking a physical console, does bring console gaming to mobile. Stadia games may be played on TV with just a suitable controller and a Chromecast Ultra streaming adaptor, and the service is also available on mobile and PC. While PS Now and xCloud use an all-you-can-eat subscription model, Stadia uses a more typical pay-per-game strategy, with a limited amount of “free” titles available to customers who pay $10 per month.
What about Nvidia? Consumers may stream games they currently own as well as free-to-play games to mobile devices, weak PCs, and Nvidia’s own Nvidia Shield TV streaming device through Nvidia’s GeForce Now service. Game publishers, which frequently strike platform-exclusive arrangements with mobile, PC, and console app shops, have reacted angrily to this approach. As a result, some large publishers, including Activision Blizzard, have pulled their titles off the site, which may explain why it has been reluctant to catch on. Nvidia stated earlier this year that the service was used by hundreds of thousands of people. In May, Sony’s PlayStation Now service surpassed 2.2 million paying customers.
Microsoft’s commercial cloud division generated nearly $13 billion in the first quarter of 2021 alone, a 39% increase over the same period the previous year. So, although xCloud may help Microsoft sell more Game Pass subscriptions, the resulting revenue pales in comparison to the lucrative cloud computing contracts Microsoft could secure by selling xCloud’s technology to publishers who want to control their own streaming library of games rather than giving a cut to a third-party streaming platform.