xCloud has been available for web browsers since June of this year, but now Microsoft has added the cloud gaming service to its native Xbox app for Windows, allowing you to access 100+ games from the Xbox app. The feature is in beta testing right now, so you have to be an Xbox Insider to try it for yourself, and also a Game Pass Ultimate member.
The Xbox app now has a dedicated “cloud games” section built-in for xCloud where you can see the entire library of cloud games in one spot. Microsoft has also added other neat quirks to the newly updated app, such as network and controller status bars to make it easy and quick to check those connections. Also added is social functionality to allow you to keep up and stay connected with your friends, along with the ability to invite people playing on the cloud in your own games.
We’ve also added some new features to help you get started, including easy-to-access information on controller and network status, social features to stay connected with friends, and the ability to invite people – even those also playing on cloud without the game installed – to join you in a game.
Similar to how xCloud works on web browsers, you only need a controller connected via Bluetooth or USB, and a decent internet connection to join the fun. It remains to be seen if the xCloud experience on the Xbox app differs from the pre-existing web version, though we can expect better integration and a more fluid UI on the app since now it will baked into Windows.
xCloud with Xbox App will work in 22 countries and you have to be a Game Pass Ultimate member to be able to access the service as the cloud games section is present in the Game Pass section of the Xbox app—xCloud has been free for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers from the very start. Moreover, you will be able to continue your gaming sessions on xCloud right from where you left off on an Xbox console or another cloud device. You can also download the games you like on xCloud to your console for offline play.
Speaking of console, the new Xbox app will also allow you to stream games from your console directly to a PC, this way you can enjoy playing locally if you don’t want to stream your games off the cloud. However, if you do want to take a go at xCloud with Xbox app, you will need to be registered under the Xbox Insider program, which is separate from the Windows Insider program.
Firstly, you need to download the Xbox Insider Hub app along with the latest version of the Xbox app from the Microsoft store. Before opening the Xbox app, open the Insider app, sign up for the program and you’re all set. Now, you’re an official tester for Xbox, which means apart from xCloud, you’ll be signed on for future beta/early testing for all things Xbox as well.
If you don’t want to do that, you can still enjoy xCloud on web by visiting xbox.com/play. Though, it has to be noted that xCloud will eventually be available on the Xbox app publicly after it has gone through its beta phase. Microsoft is in early stages of collecting feedback on this service so it can help refine it and create a better overall experience for everyone.
Thanks to all who participate in the Xbox Insider Program. Your feedback will help us build a great cloud gaming experience within the Xbox app for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members!