Microsoft is trying to make Xbox available for 2 billion people, and a central part of that is through streaming and Game Pass. The company has now rolled out its Xbox Cloud Gaming service for the Xbox App on Windows 10 PCs in 22 countries around the world. You need to opt in to the Xbox Insider program, which is free and open to everyone, to try out Cloud Gaming on PC.
You also need to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which provides access to not only the streaming service but also the catalog of free games across PC and console. This streaming service was already available on Windows PC through a browser, but this is through the Xbox App.
Xbox Cloud Gaming on PC, which follows its rollout for Mac browsers in June, lets you stream games directly to your PC without any additional hardware except a controller. Some amount of the games in the library of Xbox Game Pass titles are supported, and you can start playing on console and move to streaming, and your progress will sync with you.
A huge benefit of cloud streaming is that it requires no local download, which lets you get started very quickly, and you don’t need a beefy PC since the games are not running on your own hardware. A drawback is that the experience is based on your internet speed and reliability, not to mention your ISP might have data caps.
You do need a controller, which can be paired either over Bluetooth or via USB. Then you just need to navigate to the Xbox App, click the “cloud games” button, and select a game to play. The Xbox App has been updated with new features and functionality for this rollout, including indicators for your network status and social details like who’s online.
Xbox Cloud Gaming is still in its beta stage, so testers should expect some issues and oddities before the final product is released later on.