Microsoft announced plans to extend its subscription cloud gaming service to the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles later this year. This means Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will be able to stream over 100 games from the cloud directly to their box, with no downloads or installation required.
Cloud gaming comes to Xbox consoles with two primary focuses; playing Xbox games without waiting for downloads and playing Xbox Series X|S exclusives on older systems. The service will run games on Xbox Series X hardware, following backend server upgrades deployed earlier this year, delivering low-latency 60 frames-per-second (FPS) gameplay at 1080p resolution.
“We’ve been listening to our gamers and have heard their feedback loud and clear: they want to try new games fast without waiting for an install to finish,” said Catherine Gluckstein, head of product and strategy for Xbox Cloud Gaming.
rd”Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) on Xbox consoles lets you play new games faster than ever, optimizing space and saving you time,” he noted.
In addition, cloud gaming will prove valuable through limited Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S availability, with stock constraints ongoing months after launch.
The current global chip shortage has seen Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and high-end graphics cards in short supply, with the impact expected to extend in 2022. Cloud gaming could ease the transition with many existing Xbox One owners unlikely to upgrade this year, despite developers shifting attention to the latest hardware.
Cloud gaming won’t mitigate the need for new consoles — Microsoft has repeatedly stressed its commitment to physical hardware. Dedicated gaming consoles deliver leading visuals, including support for 4K resolutions, high dynamic range (HDR), and other display standards. That’s without touching on latency and overall network stability that can still impact your cloud experience. However, as outlined in our Xbox cloud gaming review, the service is already a viable platform on mobile and PC.
The rollout marks the latest expansion for Microsoft’s streaming efforts, expanding the Xbox platform beyond traditional living room hardware. Cloud gaming remains readily available on mobile and PC, with talk of smart TV support and dedicated Xbox streaming sticks on the horizon.