What many thought would take a few more years has finally arrived. O future of mobile games is here and goes by the name of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
By integrating technology xCloud, from cloud computing, to the Xbox Game Pass app, Microsoft crushes the competition for its simplicity. Just subscribe to the service, download the app and choose whether to play on PC, Xbox or PHONE.
Microsoft practically told us: “take these 170 Xbox games and go play on your cell phone”.
The business model adopted by Microsoft is so simple and practical that the person will even forget that the game is running via “cloud streaming”.
Unlike the competition, you don't have to subscribe to a service, buy the game and hope it doesn't get removed from the streaming service. (Yes, I know games leave Game Pass, but Microsoft warns you ahead of time. This is totally different from what happened with Geforce Now, where several companies removed games from the service without warning.)
Xbox Game Pass is something only a gaming giant could do, and Microsoft has really achieved something unique.
The most curious of all is the very attractive price, only US$ 14,99 or R$ 39,99 in the national version.
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– The big balcony is accessibility
Streaming games (Cloud Gaming) is not exactly new. The technology was already very mature back in 2011 with Onlive. The differential of Microsoft's service is to cut the “blah blah blah”.
No queues, no paying for the streaming service and then paying for the game and hoping it doesn't get removed from the service. No more choosing resolution (and finding out later that it wasn't good), installing the game or associating accounts.
Xbox Game Pass is much simpler and more convenient than any other game streaming service. Even when adapting some controls on the screen.
So accessible, Xbox Game Pass has specific controls adapted for some games.
– And where is xCloud? Service is now integrated into Xbox Game Pass
To keep things simple, Microsoft put xCloud inside the Xbox Game Pass app. The user does not need to download another app. It's all in Game Pass.
– Xbox Game Pass literally turns your smartphone into an Xbox One
But it's not just about bringing PC and Xbox One games to your smartphone. When you open Xbox Game Pass on mobile, the app turns your smartphone into an Xbox One, with all the interface, achievements, friends list, everything just like Xbox One.
The interesting thing is that it is worth remembering that Microsoft's service is literally “end to end” an Xbox. The company is using modified Xbox One S hardware to assemble the cloud service's clusters. One of the secrets lies in tuning the cores to achieve the same performance, but with only 30% of the energy consumption. The method was actually developed on the Xbox One X.
– What's the secret of Microsoft Streaming running so well?
One of the secrets of xCloud is that it actually runs at 120HZ, the game runs at a better frame rate on the server. This is done so that the hardware can predict the next pixel to be transmitted via streaming. This ensures that the next frames of the video are ready to be “streamed” as the game unfolds.
Another secret is that despite the hardware being from the Xbox One S, the processor clock is higher than normal, in addition to the aforementioned consumption saving technique. Despite being the motherboard of an Xbox One S, there is much more advanced technology in the set.
– What about Latency and Lag?
According to tests by the people at the Digital Foundry channel, latency can go from as little as 15 milliseconds to 203 milliseconds depending on the distance from the server. It all depends on where the player is.
If the player is on one continent and the server is on another, you can expect latency of up to 200ms. And that is why it is best to wait for the service to arrive in Spain.
– What is the resolution of Xbox Game Pass / xCloud ?
Xbox Game Pass delivers a resolution of 1280x720 pixels at 60 frames per second (720p60).
Compared to other services, xCloud is focused on mobile devices, so the resolution is apparently low. When playing on a small screen, it is not possible to notice so many details.
– And is everything really perfect or will you still see compression artifacts?
Even though it was released in the United States, you can still see the name “beta” written in the “Cloud” option of Xbox Game Pass and this is no coincidence. The service is still in testing. You can still see some “compression artifacts” (those low resolution squares).
– And in Spain when are you coming?
It remains to be seen now when xCloud will be launched in Spain. The service is perfect for Android smartphones and would fit like a glove for the mobile games market, lacking single player games with good stories and great adventures.
How to Play Xbox Games on Android with xCloud and Xbox Game Pass
With information from: