Gone are the days when sophisticated gaming experience was only made possible on dedicated gaming consoles or PCs built on expensive hardware. Thanks to cloud gaming services that made the same gaming experience available on smartphones, tablets, set-top-boxes or TVs because you just need a screen and an internet connection to play the game.
Previously, it was only Sony offering cloud gaming services through PlayStation Now for the past four years. However, a lot of established players have joined the bandwagon lately such as Nvidia (GeForce Now), Google Stadia and, of course, Microsoft.
Microsoft launched its cloud gaming platform Project xCloud as part of Public Preview only last month after teasing the service at the Electronic Arts Entertainment Expo in 2018. The service is in the testing phase at present and Microsoft is inviting gamers to register for Project xCloud (Preview) to be a part of the phase at no charge. The registration is opened for players located only in the U.S., U.K., and South Korea for now but Microsoft promises to add more regions in the future.
None of the participants needs to own a game or console to register for the project. They just need to own a phone or tablet running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later versions (sadly no iOS support at present) and with Bluetooth 4.0 or higher version, a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One Wireless Controller (available here), a 5GHz Wi-Fi or mobile data connection with 10Mbps download speed, and the Xbox Game Streaming (Preview) app.
Time needed: 10 minutes.
Here is how you can participate in Project xCloud (Preview) –
- You need to have a Microsoft account to register for Project xCloud. If you don’t have one you can do it here.
- If you are selected for the project, Microsoft will send you an acceptance email notifying you about the next steps. It may take few months to get the mail as Microsoft is accepting a limited number of applicants for the testing phase.
- After getting the acceptance mail, download and install the Xbox Game Streaming (Preview) app on your phone or tablet and navigate to the Project xCloud section to register for the Project xCloud (Preview) using the Microsoft account.
- In the Xbox Game Streaming (Preview) app, follow the instructions to pair your Xbox One Wireless Controller with your mobile device via Bluetooth. Otherwise, you can also use a phone mount to clip the controller to your phone.
- You can select games from the Project xCloud’s games library and start playing them on your smartphone or tablet. Microsoft has urged gamers to share their feedback by joining the conversation in their Reddit discussion forum group.
Currently, Microsoft is offering more than 50 popular Xbox titles for the Project xCloud (Preview) that include titles such as Devil May Cry 5, Tekken 7, Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, and others. In order to play, there is no need to download the games. When Microsoft will fully launch Project xCloud, it is expected to offer lots of Xbox game titles as the company has a vast library of more than 3,000 Xbox and PC games in its storage.