In an unannounced move that would make Beyoncé proud, it seems like Xbox Game Pass users can now stream the Xbox Series X versions of games available on its Xbox Cloud Gaming streaming service.
As noted by Ars Technica, a server-side upgrade to the Xbox Cloud Gaming servers now enables the service to stream Xbox Series X-quality game experiences, a massive bump up from the previous Xbox One level of performance. In effect, you can now stream Xbox Series X-quality games to your Android device or PC web browser. (Support for streaming to your actual Xbox consoles is still in testing.)
The change is a part of an initiative by Microsoft to upgrade its cloud-streaming servers from Xbox One-level hardware specs to something much closer to its latest Xbox Series X console hardware. The changeover grants users more detailed graphics, smoother framerates, and faster load times for many of the 260+ games available on the cloud-streaming service.
Xbox first announced it was bringing Series X tech to its cloud streaming back at the beginning of June, but declined to say when exactly the change would take place. Though not yet officially confirmed by Microsoft, it appears that day is today.
In a statement to Kotaku, Microsoft said, “We’re continuously testing new features and making improvements to create a better Xbox Cloud Gaming experience. We’ll have more to share soon about the upgrades we’re making to our Microsoft Datacenters.”
Xbox Game Streaming, or the artist formerly known as xCloud, is a way for Game Pass subscribers to stream Xbox games without the need for expensive consoles or PCs. The service launched in September of last year, and is available to Ultimate tier ($15) Xbox Game Pass subscribers. Today’s upgrades to Xbox Game Streaming are part of Microsoft’s plan to become the Netflix of gaming. Xbox Game Pass is already a seductive offer to console buyers, offering the ability to enjoy a robust library of games, including day-one new releases, for a flat subscription fee of as little as $9.99 a month.
Microsoft also has plans for Xbox-enabled smart TVs that would further decouple the ability to play the newest games from owning a gaming console. And as if that weren’t enough already, owners of older Xbox One consoles will also be able to stream next-gen games when Microsoft rolls out Xbox Cloud Gaming for its various consoles later in the year.