Microsoft is upping the ante in the cloud-gaming race. Microsoft is expanding its Project xCloud service, which is currently in closed beta, by 50 games, more markets, and more invites to player-testers. It is also planning to branch out to additional devices and add support for third-party controllers.
In a bid to lure more players away from Stadia, Microsoft announced on Thursday that it is adding over 50 new games to its Project xCloud game streaming service. New titles include Madden NFL 20, Devil May Cry 5, and Tekken 7. When the platform goes live, players will also be able to stream three generations of games they own and titles available through their Xbox GamePass subscription.
A limited preview of Microsoft’s game-streaming platform launched in the middle of October with four games for users to try — specifically, Halo 5: Guardians, Gears 5, Killer Instinct, and Sea of Thieves.
In addition to expanding the preview library, Microsoft said it was going to send out more invites into the beta. It is still limited to users in the US, UK, and South Korea, but the company plans to offer the preview to those in Canada, India, Japan, and Western Europe early next year.
Gamers can register for the preview on the xCloud website, but with a limited number of invites, there is no guarantee they will be selected to try out the service. That said, Microsoft plans to go live with the platform sometime in 2020. So those not getting in don’t have long to wait.
Currently, xCloud is only available for Android phones and tablets over WiFi or 5G, but next year it will be expanding to include Windows PCs and other devices. Users have to use an Xbox controller to play on xCloud for now, but support for Sony’s DualShock 4 and Razer controllers is in the works.
Microsoft started Xbox-to-Android streaming last month, which serves up games from your home console remotely. While that’s mainly a catch-up feature with PlayStation Remote Play, it’s a necessary one for Microsoft to remain competitive. It’s still unclear how gamers will take to streaming services, but as mobile and broadband speeds improve, I’d wager many would appreciate the ability to play their own console from anywhere.