After Microsoft slowly revealed more about xCloud streaming for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers on iOS and PC platforms over the months, the beta is finally set to launch this week. Microsoft just announced that Xbox Cloud Gaming or xCloud for Windows, iOS, and iPadOS devices will begin as a limited beta this week for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. Beginning tomorrow (April 20th), Microsoft will send out invites to select members to test out xCloud on the aforementioned platforms. This can be done through a new website which will include support for more than 100 games. These will be accessible on Edge, Chrome, and Safari. Invites will be sent to members across all 22 supported countries as Microsoft opens up testing to more players. The beta will support controllers and touch controls. Check out a video showcasing Minecraft Dungeons with touch controls below:
What makes today’s announcement for the xCloud beta more interesting is that Microsoft and Rainway have partnered. Microsoft is using Rainway’s SDK in the company’s streaming stack for browser-based streaming as detailed on the official blog post from Rainway here. I’m very curious to see how the browser-based solution performs compared to the app on Android and what fidelity of streaming will be available. Recently, Microsoft added new games to xCloud and brought in touch control support for more games on the service. If you’ve not kept up with xCloud and the lack of any app on iOS, Apple’s own restrictions and rules are the reason for the delay. Check out how an early build through a browser looks here. Have you tried xCloud through any of the previews or the Android release?