Microsoft has announced that Project xCloud, its long-gestating cloud game streaming service, will finally launch as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in September, in effect bringing Xbox Game Pass to Android phones.
xCloud will be bundled into the £10.99/$14.99 monthly Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription from 15 September, and will allow players to stream games directly to Android phones and tablets.
At launch it’ll be an Android exclusive though, with no support for iPhones or iPads. That’s despite the fact that Microsoft has been testing xCloud on iOS and iPadOS devices, and the company says that Apple’s App Store policies are the reason for the delay – though didn’t specify exactly which policies are the issue.
Unsurprisingly the Project xCloud branding is no longer anywhere to be seen. Instead this is billed simply as a new cloud gaming feature for Game Pass Ultimate, though interestingly it’s still officially a beta. This lines up with Microsoft’s recent efforts to push Game Pass as its dominant platform, even downplaying its upcoming Xbox Series X hardware at times as it emphasises the value of its subscription service.
It helps that most people won’t even have to buy a new controller for it. The service will work with Xbox One controllers and even Sony’s DualShock 4 gamepads, while dedicated portable gamepads from the likes of Razer, 8BitDo, and PowerA are now available through Microsoft’s storefront.
If you’re a current xCloud playtester, the bad news is that the current test of the service will end on 11 September, just a few days before the full launch on 15 September in 22 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Microsoft says that when cloud streaming launches it will include more than 100 games, including Gears 5, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Sea of Thieves. The full list will be revealed on 15 September when it launches, but here are the 36 titles confirmed so far:
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- Bleeding Edge
- Costume Quest 2
- Crackdown 3 (campaign)
- Destiny 2
- F1 2019
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
- Gears of War 4
- Gears 5 Ultimate Edition
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
- Halo Wars 2
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- Halo: Spartan Assault
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Killer Instinct Definitive Edition
- Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
- Minecraft Dungeons
- The Outer Worlds
- Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Quantum Break
- ReCore: Definitive Edition
- Ryse: Son of Rome
- Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition
- State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
- Sunset Overdrive
- Super Lucky’s Tale
- Tell Me Why
- The Bard’s Tale Trilogy
- Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut
- Wasteland 3
- Wasteland Remastered
- Yakuza Kiwami 2