Exciting things are happening in the cloud
, as tech giants have begun focusing more of their time and money towards this promising innovation. This evolution is particularly notable in the gaming world.
While cloud gaming has been around for more than a decade, it’s previously been regarded as an afterthought. Gamers demand pinpoint precision and lightning-fast response times, both of which can be tough to come by when your entire game is beamed to you via your internet connection.
Despite all this, Microsoft is betting big on the cloud. This can be seen with the promotion of the Xbox Game Pass service
, which will be used as a powerful weapon in the console wars. Keep reading to find out just how easy, affordable and functional gaming in the cloud has become via Xbox.
What You Need to Get Started
In order to get access to Xbox Cloud Gaming services, you must subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Think of this service like Netflix for video games
. They have a selection of over 100 titles from Microsoft’s first-party game studios as well as third parties such as Capcom and EA.
New users can try out Game Pass Ultimate for just a buck for the first month — a fantastic deal for those looking to give the service a try. After the promotional rate, the service costs a mere $14.99. This remains an absolute steal considering the rising price of games.
What Platforms Are Supported?
Microsoft is attempting to cast a wide net with their Xbox Cloud Gaming services, as evidenced by the broad range of platforms currently compatible with the service. Want to game on the go with your iPhone or iPad? Those are supported.
are also included, with the Xbox Game Pass app allowing them to control games with either a Bluetooth gamepad or with touch controls right on the screen. While these touch controls aren’t native to the games, they work in a pinch. Support for Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge browsers makes it a breeze to play your favorite games on your home computer or laptop.
While it may not be practical to carry an Xbox wireless controller around everywhere you go, it might be a good idea to make some room for it in your laptop bag or backpack. Cloud gaming with touch controls on your phone can be done, but it’s not the intended way to play.
Thankfully, with robust support for Bluetooth game controllers, Xbox Cloud Gaming isn’t leaving anyone out. Even Sony Playstation
fans who own a DualShock 4 can get in on the fun. Who would have thought you could ever play Halo 3
with a Playstation controller on your iPhone?
The Most Important Question: Does It Work?
Our lives have become increasingly dependent on our internet connections, with entertainment, productivity, and even work-from-home options calling for blazing-fast speeds. A wired internet connection is always preferred for premium service, but it’s not required in this case. Microsoft recommends a connection capable of 10Mbps download speeds — and a 5GHz router if you plan on playing over WiFi.
While the video stream quality is certainly not going to be mistaken for 4K, it’s decent enough to get the job done. Input lag, on the other hand, can sometimes be troubling. Certain games that require precise timing — such as MLB 21 The Show
— are fun cloud gaming ideas in theory but just don’t hold up in execution. For now, you can find the best cloud gaming experiences in slower-paced games that don’t require twitch reflexes.
The Verdict on Xbox Cloud Gaming Services
There’s a lot to love about Xbox Cloud Gaming, especially considering the tremendous value proposition of the Xbox Game Pass Service. While owners of the various Xbox consoles
will get the most mileage out of the service, those who only intend to use it for cloud gaming on the iPhone or in a browser window still have a lot to sink their teeth into.
The service has a lot of room for improvement, but it’s currently considered in Beta. As such, there’s no doubt that Microsoft’s team of engineers will improve upon the service as time goes on. If you invest in lightning-fast internet, your experience will be better than if you’re utilizing a 2.5GHz WiFi signal. So keep in mind your wifi speed before you take the plunge. Overall, Xbox Cloud Gaming offers a tantalizing taste of the future at a price that’s easy to stomach.
Your gaming experience will be a lot more enjoyable if you feel confident that your console is protected by a great extended warranty
. There’s no substitute for extended warranty coverage, which can give you valuable peace of mind when investing in expensive gaming equipment. Many people seek warranties at electronics retailers and other major stores, but Upsie can provide exceptional coverage at a fraction of the price.
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