Microsoft Reveals Release Date for Streaming Service xCloud, Launching Only on Android

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Microsoft Reveals Release Date for Streaming Service xCloud, Launching Only on Android

Project xCloud, Microsoft’s upcoming game-streaming service, now has a release date for when it’s launching next month. It will be exclusive to Android mobile phones and tablets in 22 countries at launch, according to a blog post from Xbox Wire.

Other platforms, such as iOS, PC and consoles, will have to wait. Microsoft intends to launch xCloud on PC by the end of the year and on Xbox consoles early next year. As for iOS, PlayStation 4 and Switch, there’s no word as of yet that the service will ever come to these platforms. However, a report from The Verge suggests it will eventually come to at least iOS.

Instead of buying games piecemeal, as the case is with current streaming platform Google Stadia, xCloud will be available as part of the subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a Netflix-style selection of videogames. The service costs $1 for the first month and $14.99 every subsequent month. There will be no price increase with the launch of xCloud.

Just as the selection of games offered through Xbox Game Pass varies between Xbox One and PC, xCloud will have its own library of games for users to choose from. The full list won’t be revealed until the day of launch, but heavy hitters from series such as Gears of War, Halo and Forza will all be available through the service. Microsoft promises over 100 games to be available at launch.

There will be touch controls for at least some games such as Gears 5 and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, but you’ll probably want some type of controller to play xCloud games with. Fortunately, either the Xbox One controller or PlayStation’s DualShock 4 will work with it, ironically giving the controller more longevity through Microsoft’s streaming service than through Sony’s next console.

It’s a bit awkward to position your phone on your lap while holding a huge controller though, so Xbox is also partnering with Razer, PowerA, 8BitDo and Nacon to create new accessories to make using xCloud more comfortable. You can check out the whole selection here, but most tend to either elevate your phone above the controller or split the controller down the middle with your phone inside, making it look a bit like a Switch. Not all accessories will be available by xCloud’s launch, and prices vary from $14.99 to $99.99.

At launch, xCloud will be available in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and U.S.

The current preview period for xCloud will continue until Sept. 11, with the full service launching Sept. 15. Until then, check out the 30 best games on Xbox Game Pass.