Microsoft today announced it’s bringing xCloud to Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S in time for the holiday season. It’s going to change the way people experience games on its consoles.
As nice as it is to be able to download and play games without having to deal with the hassle of physical copies, downloads come with their own problems. For one, it can take ages for a game to download, especially if you don’t have the network. For another, massive AAA titles can quickly use up all your storage, leaving little room for trying out other games — a pain if you like some variety in your gaming.
Cloud gaming integration significantly addresses those quality-of-life issues. Members subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be able to pick from 100+ games to play pretty much immediately, rather than waiting for hours for a download to finish.
It also means that you can invite friends to play in a multiplayer game on a whim; again, you don’t have to wait for them to install the game if they’d removed it to make way for another title.
Better yet, it means gamers on the Xbox One will be able to play some modern games that need the more powerful Xbox Series hardware, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Games that support xCloud will, fittingly, show a little cloud icon. Select the title and then press ‘play,’ and you’re good to go.
Of course, cloud gaming isn’t ideal for everyone. Maybe your wifi network is too janky, or you’re a competitive gamer who needs the lowest latency possible. But for many games and gamers, cloud gaming gets you 95% of the way there with a lot less of the hassle; I can see myself trying out games I might have never played otherwise because of it.
And of course, you always have the option to install games the old-fashioned way too. It’s a win-win.
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