Having recently announced a major upgrade to their Xbox Cloud Gaming platform (formerly Project xCloud) to use Xbox Series X hardware for better graphics, faster loading and improved game responsiveness, Microsoft has now confirmed that they will be bringing the game streaming option to Xbox One consoles.
There’s no indication of when exactly this will be available, but this will allow Xbox One owners to play games that are only available on Xbox Series X|S, like Microsoft Flight Simulator and upcoming Bethesda RPG Starfield, which will release for Xbox Series X|S and PC in November 2022.
Writing in a wrap-up of the Xbox & Bethesda E3 2021 Showcase, they said:
For the millions of people who play on Xbox One consoles today, we are looking forward to sharing more about how we will bring many of these next-gen games, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, to your console through Xbox Cloud Gaming, just like we do with mobile devices, tablets, and browsers.
It’s something that makes perfect sense for Microsoft’s expansion of Xbox Cloud Gaming and aim to bring as many subscribers to Xbox Game Pass as possible. There shouldn’t be any concerns over the capacity of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure by adding Xbox One support for the streaming service, and the tens of millions of Xbox One consoles out there will be vastly overshadowed by the number of Android devices currently able to access the platform, not to mention the upcoming wider release for iOS and PC via web browsers. Microsoft are also working to integrate Xbox Cloud Gaming into smart TVs, and on TV dongles that can add it to older TVs.
Previously Microsoft has spoken about bringing Cloud Gaming to their home consoles as a method for streaming a game prior to downloading. This could be a way of trialling a game before buying, or simply a mechanism to let you play something immediately instead of having to wait for increasingly large games to download. With Xbox Game Pass giving subscribers a library of hundreds of games, this would remove friction for those skimming through the catalogue.
Earlier this year Microsoft started testing Cloud Gaming through plain old web browsers, enabling them to reach PCs as well as iPhones and iPads. Functionally similar to xCloud for Android tablet and phone, the web version lets you browse a library of games with the ability to resume recently played games. You’ll have access to all the games enabled for Cloud Gaming via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Microsoft say that they will be opening up the Xbox Cloud Gaming Beta to more iOS and Windows users in the next few weeks.
Going forward, Microsoft will be able to combine both Cloud Gaming via web browser and creating dedicated apps that can make use of more advanced video codecs.