Microsoft has announced that it will open testing for Project xCloud, its cloud-based streaming technology, to members of the public in the US, UK, and Korea this October. By taking a "phased approach," the Project xCloud public preview will initially begin by sending out invites to a small number of participants, before opening up more spots over time to more players. Those who get the chance to take part in the public preview will be able to test out Project xCloud's streaming capabilities with Halo 5: Guardians (opens in new tab), Gears 5 (opens in new tab), Killer Instinct (opens in new tab), and Sea Of Thieves (opens in new tab).
Project xCloud – which was first unveiled back in late 2018 (opens in new tab) – will enable players to stream Xbox One games to any of their compatible devices with an active data connection, such as an Android smartphone or tablet. Those in the US and UK can register for the Project xCloud public preview here (opens in new tab), while those in Korea will be able to register to participate in the Project xCloud public preview today here (opens in new tab).
Project xCloud runs on WiFi and mobile networks but there are some requirements you'll have to meet in order to take part. You'll need to have a phone or tablet that runs Android 6.0 or higher with Bluetooth 4.0, along with a Microsoft account and a Bluetooth enabled Xbox One wireless controller. Microsoft also recommends using a phone mount for your controller to play.
Project xCloud public preview
Project xCloud's corporate vice president Kareem Choudhry stated that "our vision for Project xCloud is to empower the gamers of the world to play the games they want, with the people they want, anywhere they want. Customers around the world love the immersive content from Xbox in their homes and we want to bring that experience to all of your mobile devices."
Choudhry explained that Microsoft has already conducted internal testing for Project xCloud, giving Microsoft employees the chance to try out the cloud-based technology first-hand. "At home, I've been using Project xCloud to play Sea of Thieves with my kids while they’re playing on the console and PC," Choudhry said. "Around the office, I’ve seen our team having an amazing time playing Halo 5: Guardians tournaments and Gears 5 campaign on nothing more than a phone or tablet." The public trials will allow Microsoft to see how Project xCloud works in a "wide variety of real-world environments and use-case scenarios," and gather feedback from public players in order to test and improve the streaming service.
"It's time to put Project xCloud to the test in a broader capacity, with a range of gamers, devices, network environments and real world use-case scenarios, and this is where you come in," Choudhry said.
Xbox will be launching a new Microsoft Game Streaming app that will be available on Android devices in the coming weeks. You'll only be able to sign into the app once you've received an official invite to the public preview.
As well as the aforementioned games that will available for players to try out during the testing run, more games will be added throughout the public preview in order to analyse a wider variety of player habits, preferences and scenarios. There's not yet any indication as to when Project xCloud will leave public preview and have a full scale release, but it is anticipated to launch in 2020.