Microsoft kept things pretty vague when first demonstrating its looming xCloud game streaming service
on a Galaxy S10+
hooked up to an Xbox One controller, but shortly after the launch of Apple Arcade
and ahead of Google Stadia
's debut, the Redmond-based tech giant is finally ready to detail some of what's coming
... in a public preview program.
The Project xCloud Preview is accepting registrations
in the US, UK, and Korea right now, although even if you sign up immediately, you're not technically guaranteed a place on the front line of testing the "future of gaming." Actual invites to join the program will start rolling out in the "coming weeks", and Microsoft is pretty clear about the fact only a "small number of participants" will get initial access sometime in October.
On the bright side, "more spots" should open up "over time", as the company obviously plans to reach the masses eventually with its ambitious yet simple mobile game streaming concept
. If you're thinking of applying for a tester spot, you need to keep in mind Project xCloud is an Android-exclusive thing, at least for the time being.
The good news is you don't technically have to own a super-advanced Android device to join the fun. At least in theory, any phone running OS version 6.0 or greater, as well as supporting Bluetooth 4.0 technology and up, will get the job done, alongside a standard Xbox One Wireless Controller with Bluetooth functionality and either a blazing fast Wi-Fi or mobile data connection.
Speaking of data connections, T-Mobile customers will be happy to hear the "Un-carrier" is Microsoft's official US technical partner
for the xCloud initiative, which... doesn't exactly mean what you think it does. While gamers across all US networks are eligible to participate in the preview, Microsoft and T-Mobile's alliance guarantees an improved experience for "Magenta" subscribers thanks to some special optimizations.
Last but not least, you should know Halo 5: Guardians, Gears 5, Killer Instinct, and Sea of Thieves make up the short but robust list of supported titles for the Project xCloud Public Preview. You'll be able to play those four games in "console quality" on your Android phone or tablet using just the aforementioned Xbox controller and a special Xbox Game Streaming app that will become available in the "coming weeks." Sounds pretty cool, but of course, it's probably wise to wait and see how the "project" will shape up in the real world.