Multinational company Microsoft Corp. followed the footsteps of Google Inc. and created its own version of game streaming service that allows people to play PC games using their Android phones.
The xCloud a.k.a. Netflix of Gaming is a streaming service consisting of high-quality games not requiring the use of consoles. Players with a fast Internet connection of 10Mbps or better, can download a wealth of games in the Playstore and enjoy using their mobile devices.
Google launched the same service last year, with Stadia, which also allows people to download computer games into Android phones. Players simply need to download Google Chromecast Ultra for HD game streaming.
For xCloud, Microsoft is aiming to attract casual gamers into its gaming ecosystem, and save money from buying Xbox consoles. The gaming service is included in Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service, which costs $14.99 a month.
The pass provides access to 150 Xbox games, that don’t require a controller. Touchscreen controls are available to play the games, while others require Bluetooth-enabled controllers.
Microsoft’s xCloud is said to compete with Google’s Stadia, however, the latter is free. With Stadia, players only need to buy the games, with a price ranging from $14.99 to $60 or more. Premium Stadia members can access free titles monthly, as long as the Internet connection is fast.
The xCloud service isn’t complicated; players simply need to subscribe to the monthly subscription and access all the games available. It’s unlimited access as long as players subscribe to the game streaming service.
For gaming experts, the launch of Microsoft’s xCloud won’t cause massive gaming transformation, as most games are already available in Stadia’s platform. Additionally, the reliance on a fast Wi-Fi connection can affect the overall experience.
“I’m speaking against my own interests, right? We’re supposed to paint this picture of nirvana, however, I just don’t think it’s nirvana,” said Tale-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick. He added that people will find the games they want, regardless of whether it’s on mobile or not.
People who already have gaming consoles would want to utilize them, instead of using the mobile phone. However, Zelnick isn’t disregarding the interest of those who want to play using their smartphones.
Another huge problem with xCloud is, it won’t be available for iPhone and iPad users. Apple’s developer rules put a roadblock to game streaming services that can affect the experience of customers.