As if to jump on to the next generation of the gaming bandwagon, Microsoft is now joining Stadia, GeForce Now, and Luna by creating a web-based version of its xCloud service. This is significant for us Chromebook owners because it means that we will one day be able to play over 100 Xbox games on Google’s inexpensive, and versatile laptops!
You can technically already download the app for this via the Google Play Store, but launching games is a hit or miss, and since that’s its only real function, it’s pretty worthless. The service’s availability on the web will make it much more accessible and compatible for a larger audience. Ahhh, yes, the power of the open web.
According to sources close to Microsoft who have reached out to The Verge, the company plans to bring your Xbox to the web browser with a public preview. For now, they are testing it internally, but the screenshot below has made its rounds on the internet. It showcases what the service may look like when it finally becomes available, and while it’s probably not its final form, it already looks pretty polished.
Microsoft xCloud is a cloud gaming platform that uses the company’s Azure data centers to host and stream Xbox games directly to you. To clear up any confusion, xCloud refers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which costs $14.99 per month (the first 3 months are only one dollar each!) and gives you access to over 100 high-quality games for PC, console, and Android devices (and web soon, of course). You’ll get new games often, first-party titles the day they release, exclusive member discounts and deals, free in-game content, and more.
If you want to try out the cloud beta when it does become available, you will need to pay for a subscription, so keep that in mind. It certainly is the most expensive cloud gaming platform to my knowledge, as Stadia and GeForce Now both cost only $9.99 per month and have free versions. Despite the added cost, Microsoft’s data centers are some of the largest in the world, and the company is confident that they will be the best game streaming service on the market. Take that for what you will.
Here are some of the games that you’ll be able to play with your subscription. It will be super cool to play some Xbox exclusives on Chromebooks, by the way!
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- No Man’s Sky
- NieR: Automata
- My Time at Portia
- Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition
- Halo : The Master Chief Collection
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Dead by Daylight
- A Plague Tale: Innocence
- Minecraft Dungeons
- Middle Earth: Shadow of War
- ReCore: Definitive Edition
The fact that cloud gaming is taking hold across all of these major companies is proof that there is, in fact, a future in it. Google certainly wasn’t the first (R.I.P. OnLive), but they did popularize it and help others believe in it to the point where they’re pouring millions of dollars into the technology.
Will you be trying xCloud when it comes to your Chrome browser? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section! I was personally not really feeling Luna when it launched, and am afraid I may face the same level of disappointment when Microsoft enters the ring. If you have experience with Game Pass, please tell me what you love about it.