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Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming is about to head to web browsers. 


Lori Grunin/CNET

Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming is expanding. On Monday the company announced that starting tomorrow it will begin testing the browser-based version of the service with Windows 10 PCs and Apple phones and tablets.

Previously known as Project xCloud, the new service allows for streaming full-featured Xbox games over the internet onto devices that aren’t on your home Wi-Fi or near your physical console. Catherine Gluckstein, vice president and head of product for Project xCloud, writes in a blog post that the expansion to web browsers will be limited to start. 

“Starting tomorrow, we’ll begin sending out invites to select Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to start testing the Xbox Cloud Gaming limited beta for Windows 10 PCs and Apple phones and tablets via web browsers,” Gluckstein writes, adding that the company’s plan is to “iterate quickly and open up to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in the coming months.” 

Those invited into the test will be able to play “over 100 Xbox Game Pass titles through Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari” by heading to xbox.com/play

You will need “a compatible Bluetooth or USB-connected controller” (an Xbox or PlayStation 4 controller will work) though “more than 50 games” will also feature “custom touch controls” for playing using your phone’s touchscreen. A full list of compatible remotes can be found on Microsoft’s site




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Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is Microsoft’s $15 (£11, AU$16) per month Xbox subscription service that includes Xbox Live Gold, the ability to play using Xbox Cloud Gaming and access to over 100 games on Xbox consoles or PC. Microsoft has been building out Game Pass’ game selection in recent weeks, notably adding Sony’s MLB The Show 21 (which launches on Tuesday) and bringing back Grand Theft Auto V.

Already available on Android and the Xbox Game Pass PC app since its official launch last September, Microsoft had planned to bring xCloud to iOS devices through a dedicated app, but was stymied by Apple’s App Store rules. In a statement last year, the company blasted Apple saying that the iPhone-maker “stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass.” 

Apple since changed its rules, but Microsoft was still not pleased as Apple required each Xbox game to be submitted as individual apps as opposed to living inside a single Xbox Cloud Gaming portal. 

By going through a web browser, Microsoft follows other cloud gaming efforts like Amazon’s Luna, figuring out a way to bring the service to Apple users without needing to get Apple’s approval first.