Thursday, 12 Dec 2019

Xbox good news: xCloud could kill off Stadia before Google service even starts

Today, we saw Xbox make a massive announcement on the back of xCloud celebrating its one-month anniversary.

The service, which is starting to roll out across the world, is designed basically as a complement to your console set-up, allowing you to stream Xbox One games to your mobile device when you're away from your living room setup.

Just as Xbox is starting to firm up the service, we saw an announcement that Microsoft will be massively expanding the service in the coming weeks and months, putting rival Google Stadia's modest 12-game launch line-up to shame.

"When we announced the Project xCloud preview back in September, we were just getting started and intended on bringing you more games, new features, and opportunities for even more players to join," explained Kareem Choudhry, Corporate Vice President for Project xCloud, Microsoft, during X019.

"We’re excited to say that we’re adding more than 50 new titles from over 25 of our valued partners.

"Games such as “Madden NFL 20”, “Devil May Cry 5,” and “Tekken 7” are now in the Preview library."

You can take a list of the newly announced list of games here.

That's huge, and will likely be a massive blow to Stadia – a service that's already had to concede that not all early adopters will get their kit by launch day, and that attracted criticism over a small launch lineup.

Adding insult to injury, Xbox also announced it will be bringing its streaming service to more platforms in the coming year, too – making Stadia's launch on Pixel phones and its own Chromecasts exclusively seem limited in its scope.

"Mobile phones provide a fantastic on-the-go gaming experience, but our goal is to continue to provide people with even more ways to play" explains Choudhry.

"Next year, we’ll bring Project xCloud to Windows 10 PCs, and are collaborating with a broad set of partners to make game streaming available on other devices as well.

"Enabling people to play games on the device of their choice goes beyond a phone or tablet, it extends into how you control the game. In addition to using an Xbox One wireless controller, we’ll expand support to more Bluetooth controllers beginning next year, including the DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller and game pads from Razer."

So things are looking good for the xCloud service as we move into 2020, and Microsoft's next big step.

Starting in 2020, Microsoft will be bringing xCloud to more markets, too. Canada, India, Japan, and Western Europe will see the service arrive in the new year.

"Expanding to additional markets over time is an important step in our journey to delight the 2 billion gamers in the world. We’ll have more details to share soon on when and how to register."

As Google Stadia's launch looms (next Tuesday), it's clear that Microsoft is keen to fend off any competition by giving players exactly what they've been asking for when it comes to streaming services: variety, accessibility and flexibility.

We'll have more to report soon. You can sign up to trial Microsoft's xCloud service here.

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