In September, Microsoft opened up registration for its Project xCloud beta. This was the first time the service, which aims to let you play any Xbox game, at any time, on any device over a Wi-Fi or mobile network, has been made available to the general public.
Team OXM went hands-on with the streaming tech to see just how well the service copes in the wild. So far we’re impressed. The beta is only available on Android devices with an OS of version 6.0 or later, though the service will also run on Apple devices on full release. Using xCloud requires a Bluetooth Xbox One controller, and you also need an internet speed of at least 10Mbps.
Moment of truth
There was always going to be a level of scepticism over how Project xCloud would work in the real world, where broadband speeds and Wi-Fi connections can be less than perfect. However, after spending just a short time with it, the outlook for Microsoft’s latest innovation looks granite-strong.
Only certain titles were chosen to demonstrate xCloud during the beta phase, so we played Gears 5, Halo 5: Guardians, Sea Of Thieves, plus Killer Instinct. The picture quality is phenomenal using our home Wi-Fi. At no point does our image become blurred. Sure, there are a few moments where the action stutters but it’s mostly a smooth experience. That said, input lag (though slight) is noticeable.
Still, there’s no denying Microsoft has made a great impression with the streaming beta. The underlying tech may not offer console-level quality just yet, but the future looks searingly bright. Aside from some tiny lag issues, the sky’s the limit for xCloud.