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Xbox Cloud Gaming is finally in testing mode — here’s what we know

Microsoft may try to release xCloud around the holiday season — so be on the lookout for it.

microsoft xcloud game streaming
Image: Microsoft

Coming this fall, Microsoft is set to release a new cloud gaming feature that will improve the gaming experience for Xbox users. If you’re an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, you’ll be able to play some of your favorite games whether you’re using a smartphone, PC, or laptop. You’ll also be able to try out games before purchasing them to see if it’s worth downloading.

The new cloud gaming experience is called xCloud. This integration will make it easier for gamers to jump right into multiplayer games without waiting for an install.

Microsoft began testing this new integration in late September, which means that, soon enough, it’ll be available to a select number of users.

Who Is Eligible for Testing?

microsoft surface duo touch controls for xcloud
Image: Brad Sams / YouTube

Back on September 28, Microsoft announced that testing would begin for Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha insiders, which you’re able to sign up for through the Xbox Insiders program.

If you have the Xbox Ultimate Game Pass, you’ll also be able to test out streaming games directly from the cloud integration. Microsoft plans on opening up the feature to more Insiders and additional players over time.

One of the advantages of this cloud integration is reduced time to get on your favorite games, whether it’s “Minecraft Dungeon,” “Sea of Thieves,” or “Hades,” for example. To access these games available on the cloud, you can visit the Xbox Game Pass library and look for games with the cloud icon.

If you’re looking for a full list of games, visit “My Games & Apps,” then “Full Library and Xbox Game Pass,” and change the filter to “Cloud Gaming.” You’ll be able to see all of the games available to stream immediately!

With a stable internet connection, you’ll be able to play any of the games listed with the click of a button. You’ll have access to more than 100 games once the feature is available to you. Some other new features include:

  • Easy access to controller and network status.
  • Game bar integration.
  • Social features to connect with friends.
  • Ability to invite friends who are also playing on the cloud to join a game.

Since more than 90% of companies are expected to move to cloud computing in the coming years, it’s no surprise that Microsoft hopped on board to offer better gaming experiences for their customers.

Known Issues

xcloud running on samsung fridge
Image: Richard Mallard / Instagram

Below are some of the known issues Xbox is experiencing with their cloud integration, but they’re working hard to resolve them and will likely be fixed in future updates:

  • Users may not be able to play games that are part of a bundle, including games like “Forza Horizon 4,” “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” and others.
  • In-game purchases are not yet supported when playing on the cloud. To work around this, you can purchase things on the Xbox.com store, quit the game, and then restart it to view the purchases you’ve made.
  • Insiders may see a game appear twice after installation.
  • Games that have been downloaded on an external drive not connected to the console will not show up during cloud gaming.
  • Cloud gaming experiences may only show up in English.

This new feature will surely improve the gaming experience for anyone who has access to cloud gaming. Whether you’re an avid streamer or just play for fun, any type of Xbox player will benefit.

You’ll also be able to save on storage space! More storage space means more games to download and enjoy.

When to Expect the Feature

Because xCloud is in testing mode and only the beta version is available to some Insiders, it’s unclear when Microsoft will make it widely available. Testing can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, but Microsoft may try to release xCloud around the holiday season — so be on the lookout for it!

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Editor’s Note: April is a staff writer at ReHack Magazine with a passion for cybersecurity, AI, and all things tech. Offline, you’ll find her cruising the neighborhood on her motorcycle or bingeing the latest true crime documentary.

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