Microsoft seems serious about getting people to play Xbox games on platforms other than consoles, announcing today that cloud gaming will be available on PCs and web browsers.
According to Microsoft, cloud gaming will be integrated directly into the Xbox app in Windows 10 later this year. You’ll be able to stream games to your Windows 10 PC as if you were playing an Xbox Series X via Microsoft’s Azure servers, with Microsoft’s Kareem Choudrey stating that the “world’s most powerful console is coming to Azure.”
People who stream games should have similar experiences to those who play on Microsoft’s new console, including faster load times and improved frame rates on older titles that are now Xbox Series X optimized, given that Microsoft’s datacenters include Xbox Series X hardware.
The arrival of Xbox cloud gaming on PC opens up a world of possibilities. As we’ve seen with game streaming services like Nvidia GeForce Now and Google Stadia, you can play games on older or weak gear, thereby converting them into powerful gaming laptops — as long as you have a strong enough internet connection.
When Halo Infinite launches later this year, you might be able to take out an old Windows 10 laptop, log in, and start streaming it.
People with gaming PCs that are already more powerful than the Xbox Series X may find it handy.
Cloud gaming is a feature of Xbox Game Pass for PC, a subscription service that provides access to a large number of games. You might rapidly try out a game by streaming it using cloud streaming.
If you like what you see, you can download it and play it on your computer. You haven’t lost time downloading and installing the game if you don’t like it. This function could become more handy when the Xbox Game Pass for PC catalog expands, as Microsoft promises.
It’s been dubbed a “Netflix for games,” and that’s a fair description: just as the now-ubiquitous streaming service means you’ll never need to buy a DVD or 4K Blu-Ray again, Microsoft’s subscription means you’ll never need to buy a game.
Players can access a plethora of third-party games for a low monthly fee, with Microsoft’s own first-party titles arriving on day one as well.
All Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users will be able to stream games via their web browsers, including Edge, Chrome, and Safari, in the coming weeks, according to Microsoft.
This opens the door to even more devices being able to play Xbox Series X titles, such as MacBooks, which aren’t normally thought of as gaming machines.
Of course, all of this is contingent on how good Microsoft’s streaming service is. Nvidia GeForce Now, which can bring graphically intense games to devices like Chromebooks, has shown promise, and Microsoft’s Azure datacenters, which are available in regions all over the world, are in an excellent position to deliver on those promises.
ID@Azure is also launched, with the goal of assisting independent game developers in creating cloud-based games. This might help Microsoft’s cloud gaming service stand out from the competition.