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Do you need an Xbox to use xCloud game streaming?

Xbox Game Pass and xCloud can get confusing, so we’re hear to help clear things up.

project xcloud being shown on android phone during inside xbox show
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has been making some serious waves with Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate. One of the biggest draws for Game Pass Ultimate is the ever-evolving xCloud game streaming service that Microsoft is developing.

xCloud lets users play a growing library of Xbox games from Android devices through cloud gaming, meaning no downloads are involved. The company also recently brought xCloud to PC, Mac, and iOS devices in a beta program that lets you play certain Game Pass games right from your browser. That feature is expected to be released to the public soon.

But the service is still relatively new, and that means that there are still a lot of questions surrounding the feature. One of those questions is “Do you need an Xbox for xCloud gaming?” The answer might surprise you.

So, do you need an Xbox console for xCloud gaming?

Short answer: No

The answer is no. While Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate do offer some games that aren’t available on xCloud gaming (meaning you have to download them to an Xbox console), xCloud does not require an Xbox at all. In fact, xCloud is not even available on Xbox consoles, though that is something that Microsoft has said they are working on.

To stream games via xCloud, all you need is an Android device, or an invite to try the service through a browser on PC, Mac, and iOS devices. On Android, you can download the Game Pass app from the Google Play Store sign up for Game Pass Ultimate and play games using xCloud.

On other platforms, head over to xbox.com/play and sign for a chance at beta access. Remember, this service will be launching to the public soon, so you won’t have to worry about getting beta access for long.

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