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  • Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

Microsoft game pass update for phones and PC as the ‘Netflix-for-Gaming’

Streaming services like Netflix and Twitch is widely popular around the globe. Where Twitch is just a platform solely made for streaming videos, Netflix is used to stream tv programs and movies. The same idea came to mind when Google announced the Stadia program. It could stream 4k games on computers that were nearly not capable enough to run them physically. But could stream them from remote cloud servers with a good enough internet connection. It is also possible to stream games on phones.

xCloud was the initial title selected for Microsoft’s very own gaming service. Later it was titled Microsoft Xbox cloud gaming service. While being in the beta period for a while, finally we can see it in action. This week, the program will start rolling out to iOS devices and PCs. The initial program will be a limited invite-only program and later will be available for everyone. The slot for this invite is limited to game pass ultimate holders for the specific programs alongside web browsers.

Streaming service like Netflix allows users to stream thousands of programs under same subscription package. Same thing for twitch, where people stream their screen for others to watch. But this goes under showmanship doesn’t let others play the game. Microsoft Xbox cloud gaming has quite the same motive. Subscription will cost $14.99 a month and users can access over 100 tittles ready to stream. It is streaming the game for playing not watching other people play, just for information’s sake. The streaming feature is great judging by the fact that people don’t need bulky computers to run them or large drives to store them. Games will require a good internet connection continuously to stream. And it is already available on android devices.

Xbox ultimate game pass holders can enjoy the service from over 22 countries in first enrollment. Microsoft will stay updated and make sure to invite more players on each wave to introduce the service. A USB controller or Bluetooth controller is required to enjoy the games similarly to physical device implementation. Touch controls are also available. VR games are not included as they are not that CPU heavy and doesn’t require that much space yet. The plan is to implement upgrades over the same idea that people enjoy.

More than 50 games are supported to play via USB or Bluetooth controller with Xbox game pass ultimate in primary period. More devices and games will be added to the list as time will go on. Xbox Cloud gaming support hub is continuously updating beta, preview and Xbox remote play configuration and update the community whenever necessary. On April 21, the Xbox Live Gold team announced a free online multiplayer experience. Those are only for games that are free to play in the first place but got include in-game pass listing. It blocked free to play games from playing without a pass. The notion was criticised by players and Xbox finally announced “Free-to-play now means free-to-play.”

Game stack

The game stack provides tools for teams and developers to create amazing things. Tools like Visual Studio Code, Unity, VS Cloud Explorer associated with azure accounts help creators bring out products to life. Also, more quality product means more profit for the studios. It is important to always use the latest technology to build something better than what is already available.

Gaming cloud and the stack is performing together to develop games quickly and deploy inside pass rather than separate sell. It can benefit a company in two different ways. Of course, there will be a standalone version for sale. But inside game pass, all games get a special percentage judging by active player count and in-game purchases. This strategy helps support small teams to build on larger projects. AAA titles, AR, and even VR titles that take a little extra time to make.


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