A new update for the Xbox App on Windows PCs introduces new functionality that allows users to stream console games from their home console or the cloud.
In its announcement, Microsoft said this might be useful if someone else in your home is using the TV or if you’re traveling somewhere and don’t have your Xbox. In a nod toward Microsoft’s longer-term vision, the company said this solution is also aimed at people who don’t have an Xbox–or don’t want one–but still want to play Xbox games. This new streaming solution allows people to play Xbox games without an Xbox, and that’s part of Microsoft’s long-term plan to reach 2 billion gamers.
The latest Xbox App update for Windows 10 PCs allows users to play Xbox Game Pass titles from the cloud and play games that are on their local Xbox console over the cloud.
The big benefit of streaming to a PC is that, because the game is running somewhere else–on Microsoft’s servers or your local Xbox–the PC it’s being streamed to doesn’t need to be very powerful. There is also no local download required, so you can get started faster.
This functionality is live now for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers in 22 countries. Before this, the Xbox Cloud Gaming service worked on phones, tablets, and PCs through a browser, but now it’s baked directly into the Xbox App.
To get started, open the Xbox App, click the “cloud gaming” button, and then choose a title. You will also need an Xbox controller. More details can be found on the Xbox Cloud Gaming website.
For streaming games from your home console, Microsoft says this is “essentially a way to mirror your console gaming experience on another screen.” This happens through the Xbox Remote Play feature inside the Xbox App for Windows 10 PCs.
“This marks the first time we’ve enabled Xbox Remote Play on PC for Xbox Series X|S owners. We’ve also made additional upgrades from previous iterations of Remote Play, such as general stability updates, allowing for games to stream at 1080p up to 60fps, and adding the ability to play select Xbox 360 and Xbox Original games, which has been one of the most highly requested features,” Microsoft said.
More information about Remote Play streaming can be found on Xbox’s website.
Microsoft has a big and bold ambition to grow the reach of Xbox Game Pass and streaming, and in the future, the company will create its own streaming stick and work with TV manufacturers to put the Xbox experience directly into TVs. But this effort is not seemingly coming at the cost of the traditional home console experience, as Microsoft has said it will continue to make dedicated Xbox gaming consoles in the future.