Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Microsoft’s streaming Xbox service set for Aussie testing

Fancy a game away from the TV? Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service heads to preview for Australia shortly.

There’s a new Xbox or two out this week, but if you’re hoping to play a game or two outside of the living room and continue your exploits out and about, the Xbox Series S/X may not be for you.

Unlike Nintendo and its focus on the Switch portable gaming system, Microsoft doesn’t really offer a mobile gaming system, and instead focuses on playing at home, with the Xbox consoles needing to be plugged into a TV or display to work. That means you need power to play the games you get, and not just for your console, but for the screen.

But if you have a recent Xbox and a desire to play your games out and about, it could well be coming, as Microsoft reveals that its game streaming service, xCloud, will be heading to Australia for testing and preview, with Australia joining Brazil, Japan, and Mexico from next week.

Set to launch as an invite-only preview, Microsoft xCloud in Australia will see Australian Xbox owners access a small library of games to test how game streaming works on their phones and tablets. The technology requires an Android phone or tablet to work, as the app isn’t available on iPhone or iPad yet, so if you want to try xCloud out, you’re going to need one of those.

Once you’re in, xCloud will connect you to custom Xbox One S hardware, allowing you to play games remotely using what is essentially someone else’s Xbox. It’ll be your account and your save games, but Microsoft’s Xbox, and a library of games including (but not limited to):

  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Cricket 19
  • Destiny 2
  • Devil May Cry 5
  • F1 2019
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Gears 5
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • Ori and the Whill of the Wisps
  • Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Sid Meier’s Civilisation VI, and more.

While it’s not every game in the Xbox line-up, it is enough to provide a test to whether a streaming Xbox service can deliver what people need, able to work using 4G, 5G, or WiFi at home.

Gamers keen to get their hands on the service will have to register at Microsoft’s xCloud registration page, and then wait for the invite. If you’re lucky enough to be included, you can probably expect some mobile Xbox gaming coming your way in the next couple of weeks, before it releases to everyone else later on.

xCloud gaming essentially takes place on an Xbox One S, pictured here, but customised to server hardware. It’s like playing someone else’s Xbox, but with your account.
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