The gaming industry is abuzz with next-generation console news after the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X were officially unveiled last week. Meanwhile, Sony recently confirmed that it will host a PlayStation 5 showcase on Wednesday, at 1 p.m. PT. The online event will be live-streamed on YouTube and Twitch through official channels. On the other hand, Microsoft is also about to officially launch its xCloud game streaming service alongside Game Pass Ultimate. The $14.99 a month subscription will reportedly have more than 150 games available.
In 2019, the Redmond, Washington-based tech group began testing the platform which was still called Project xCloud at the time. It was initially intended to be compatible with game systems, Windows PCs, and mobile devices. However, only Android smartphones and tablets will be supported for now due to an unresolved issue with Apple. The Verge notes that the Xbox Game Pass app will receive an update to enable the service, but will be initially available for select territories only.
Upon launch, a total of 22 countries will have access to the xCloud game streaming on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. These include Spain, South Korea, Czech Republic, Finland, Denmark, Slovakia, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Norway, France, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands. Ireland, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Along with the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X reveal several days ago, Microsoft will add EA Play to expand the library of titles available. However, subscribers should be aware that these are not yet accessible until later this year. Unlike other game streaming services, xCloud developers worked closely with major mobile network operators to ensure compatibility.
Originally, players were required to use an Xbox controller with their smartphones and tablets, but touch controls will eventually be supported. For now, only "Minecraft Dungeons" has it, yet games such as "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" and "Gears 5" were supposedly playable even without a gamepad as tested by players during the beta period.
In an attempt to hopefully bring back Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and xCloud to the App Store, Apple made some adjustments to its policies. Unfortunately, it wants developers to submit each title as a separate app instead. It is currently unclear if this move will change the overall outlook against its restrictive guidelines for game streaming services.