Streaming video game content is not new as we’ve seen different services pop up in the past that offered players the ability to enjoy graphically intensive video game titles on the PC platform without needing the components to run the games on their own desktop. However, streaming video game content is becoming more mainstream and we could see it really blossom with this next-generation platform launch.
While Sony has the likes of the PlayStation Now service, Microsoft is really leading the charge with its xCloud service. So far, this streaming platform is in its infancy. Players only gain access to the likes of xCloud through their android smartphones and tablets as long as they are members of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tier. If you’re unfamiliar with this service, players are given access to the entire Xbox Game Pass catalog in which the games can be streamed to your smartphone rather than having to download the games on your personal computer or Xbox One console.
This Xbox Game Pass service is also a great deal. Players are given access to countless video game titles and will also find that all first-party Microsoft exclusives will be available on the subscription service when they launch. Paying the extra fee for the Ultimate tier simply gives players the ability to use Xbox Game Pass on their Xbox One console along with their PC. This includes the added benefit of xCloud on your android devices.
Of course, with that said, there is some hope that we’ll get xCloud on other platforms in the near future. For instance, Microsoft has been attempting to get xCloud on iOS, but fans have expressed their interest in the streaming service feature on the likes of their Xbox One consoles and PCs. Now a recent comment made by Phil Spencer to the Stratechery revealed an interest in making HDMI sticks specifically designed for xCloud streaming.
According to Phil Spencer, he could see something like happening in which these streaming devices will be cheap and allow players to plug them straight into their TVs. Paired with a wireless controller, players could stream games from the device which would really open up the possibilities of players having access to the latest video game from Microsoft without the need of paying for a video game console or the video game software that comes with it.
That’s of course just a comment made by Phil Spencer and not an announcement. There’s no such device available or officially int he works. Perhaps someday that might be a reality, but for now, it looks like if you’re wanting to enjoy xCloud, you’ll need to purchase Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and use your Android smartphone to enjoy the streaming capabilities.