Earlier this spring, Microsoft opened up for testing its game streaming service, xCloud, in 11 countries. The testing was limited to the Android platform, after a previous, but very limited, test round on iOS. Now The Verge reports that Microsoft has announced the final date for the full rollout of the service to Android: September 15.
Norway is one of 22 countries that will be the first to launch the service.
xCloud is a direct competitor to, among others, Google Stadia, PlayStation Now and Nvidia GeForce Now. All are game streaming services where you only need a solid internet connection to play, and only a screen like a mobile or a regular computer to download the content on. The processing takes place on a server far away, and the image is fed to you.
The different services have different business models, but xCloud will have a subscription service related to Xbox Game Pass, which can be downloaded via Google Play. It is also this app that becomes the intermediary for the streaming to your Android phone.
Your phone requires at least Android 6.0 and Bluetooth 4.0, which means that just about anything that crawls and goes off phones launched in the last four to five years will be able to handle this with brilliance. Yes, you must also have at least a 10 Mbps network line, and this capacity must be available in its entirety to you (if you live with others who also use the network and the capacity is shared).
Over 100 games available
You will also need a controller, preferably an Xbox One controller, and connect it to your phone. If you do that and pay the amount mentioned above in the month, you will have access to over 100 games directly on your mobile after 15 September. This includes, among other things:
Ark: Survival Evolved
Forza Horizon 4
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
The Outer Worlds
The full list of all games can be found on the Microsoft website. The company also makes a reservation that some of the games on the list may have to be rolled out over time, so some may only become available shortly after launch. Which this applies to is uncertain.
Microsoft wants to test how the scaling of xCloud will work on Android before they consider taking the service over to other platforms, such as iOS, reportedly. This also has to do with Apple’s strict App Store rules, which according to Microsoft made it difficult and «limited» testing.