Microsoft's Project xCloud preview is entering 11 more countries in Western Europe

Microsoft's Project xCloud preview is entering 11 more countries in Western Europe
Microsoft is making its cloud gaming service available for preview in more countries, after it was initially out only in the US, UK, Canada and South Korea.

The new Project xCloud preview countries are, as announced: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

As Microsoft notes, cloud streaming could have a toll on Europe's efforts to conserve internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus a limited number of people will be allowed to join the preview in each market.

The xCloud service is to rival the likes of Google Stadia and PlayStation Now, with an Android preview app currently available in the listed countries, while an iPhone and iPad version is being tested by a number of invited users in the US, UK and Canada.

To join the beta, you need to make sure your smartphone or tablet is running Android 6.0 or newer, and has Bluetooth 4.0+ support. A compatible Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth is also required, along with a stable 5GHz WI-Fi connection, or a fast mobile data connection.

Project xCloud promises over 50 console-quality games that can be played from your phone or tablet, with no hassle of downloads or installs. During the preview, you don't need to own any games or a console, as Microsoft streams the games as they run on the company's own hardware, right to your device, similarly to how Netflix streams video.

A rival game streaming service, Google Stadia, has been out since late last year. Google recently even gave free Stadia Pro trials to some YouTube Premium users. Stadia currently has over 30 games available, and hundreds more to come, with many being Triple-A ones that would normally require a powerful PC to run.

Those cloud gaming services aim to take away the need of buying expensive computers or game consoles, and to allow gamers to simply play their games library via a compatible phone or tablet.

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