After several months of testing that generated favourable feedback, Microsoft launched its xCloud gaming streaming service in September bundled with its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. This allowed consumers and gaming industry journalists enough time to fully test its performance and capabilities without restrictions. So far, it seems to generate a mixed bag of feedback from those who have played it for close to a month now.
For now, a major gripe that gamers have with the cloud-gaming platform is its limited device compatibility. Although it is considered to be no longer in beta, there are still some missing features that will be eventually added down the line. In its current state, many agree that it still has the potential to beat its rivals such as Google’s Stadia, Amazon’s Luna, Sony’s PlayStation Now, and NVIDIA’s GeForce Now, reports The Verge.
However, it is difficult for reviewers to make a solid conclusion when it is only accessible on Android devices. Microsoft plans to make it available for iOS hardware soon via a web-based portal in order to circumvent certain restrictions Apple has established for game streaming apps on its App Store. xCloud was originally envisioned to bridge the gap between mobile devices, game consoles, and PC.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently replied to a Twitter post by @Vyyyper asking when users can expect to have the game streaming service on PC and supported game systems. “Yes, we want to do this. It’s in the long list of cool things the xCloud team is working on, just a bit further down the list. But we want console and PC players to be able to browse as easily as mobile players, it’s a good gamepass feature,” he wrote.
Comparisons were also made between the loading times of xCloud and Stadia. It seems that Google’s service is faster in this aspect as games took anywhere between 20 to 35 seconds only. Meanwhile, on Microsoft’s end – purportedly even with fast internet speeds and minimal latency – most of the time it takes close to or more than a minute before its ready to play. Nevertheless, many believe upcoming improvements will put it on par with its biggest competitors.