If there’s one thing that many Xbox fans have been waiting for, it’s bringing xCloud, or as Microsoft calls it Cloud Gaming, to the PC. It has been a strange omission in the Cloud Gaming narrative so far, but that should change in the near future.
Back in December, Microsoft announced that iOS and PC were added to the xCloud experience in the spring of 2021, and now we’re starting to see a bit of progress towards reaching this goal.
Over the past few weeks, Microsoft has rolled out ‘Cloud Gaming’ via the browser to a large group of users within Microsoft. To date, this is the largest group of cloud gaming beta testers for PC iteration of the service, and this is one of the final steps before it is offered publicly in a preview mode.
For those who are currently testing the service inside Microsoft, they report that the experience is a bit buggy at the moment, but it can be expected. The streaming service also only works with Chrome and Edge at this time, Firefox and Safari users will have to change their browser habits if they want to use the service.
One thing that I’m not entirely sure at this point is whether the standalone app for Cloud Gaming will exist when the service debuts publicly. Late last year, there was an app that leaked that allowed you to play xCloud on your PC through, but that app experience may disappear in favor of the browser solution.
Microsoft could still choose to offer both solutions, after all, the ‘app’ may just be a web wrap, but the substance is that Cloud Gaming on the PC is moving forward at a speed that should allow Microsoft to reach its stated goal of a spring release. That said, iOS iteration of the service does not appear to be as far into the testing phases as the PC, but that solution is a little more complicated thanks to Apple’s store policies.
xCloud was originally launched on Android and these users can stream games today. But with billions of more users on PC and iOS enabling these platforms to stream the games, the Xbox world opens up a much larger gaming audience.
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