Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming is expanding to more devices this year, with support coming to PC, consoles and web browser compatible devices, as well as being embedded directly into TVs.
Cloud Gaming will be added to the Xbox app on PC, later this year. While games can still be downloaded and played locally, users will have the option to stream compatible titles. It will allow users with underpowered desktops and laptops to play the latest games, which was previously restricted to dedicated gaming rigs.
That same technology is also coming directly to Xbox consoles, which will “light up all kinds of scenarios like try before you download,” said Microsoft Vice President of Gaming Cloud, Kareem Choudhry.
The Xbox Cloud Gaming web browser client will be available to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. It allows games to be streamed directly in Chrome, Safari or Edge, which means Xbox games can also be played on mobile and tablet devices.
In a presentation on the future of gaming at Microsoft, Xbox head Phil Spencer, said:
As we roll out Cloud Gaming into general availability over this year, we will unlock the ability for anyone on the planet to enjoy the gaming experiences that relatively few have had the access to before. They can do it through console, PC, mobile via browser, and frankly, almost any new device category that is connected to cloud.
Currently, Xbox Cloud Gaming is still running on last-gen Xbox One technology, meaning Microsoft will need to update its Azure data centres to Xbox Series X hardware to make it possible. Users who do not have access to Xbox Series X will still be able to harness the power of current-gen consoles on any of the aforementioned platforms, providing the internet connection is good enough.
Microsoft Vice President of Gaming Cloud, Kareem Choudhry, said:
We are unleashing games from dedicated devices, creating opportunities for people around the world to play the biggest titles on phones, tablets, entry level PCs, and more.
Technically, it’s been a lot more complicated to play a game from the cloud than music or video. Games are interactive in real time, and the player’s actions are fundamental part of the experience. It needs to be responsive enough to be fully enjoyable. Even with those challenges, we are up and running today. Now devices that can’t run top end games can deliver the Xbox experience.
A phone that can only play Angry Birds can now play MLB The Show. An affordable laptop made for web browsing can now play Halo in full fidelity. This is what playing anywhere you want looks like.