From the moment I saw this service in action at E3 2019, I knew this was going to be a big part of gaming’s future. It’s a natural evolution for how we interact with games, and how accessible they are. That being said, the infrastructure isn’t necessarily fully here from a global perspective, and this is just the start. With Xbox Project xCloud, the service finally arrived in Canada and it’s available for Android devices.
I used a Google Pixel 4 with a home network connection of 118/33 mbps at the time of doing a speed test while playing. I wanted to give context into how this was setup. Now, a big part of the experience will be doing this anywhere and I’ll have to test out cellular based gameplay later on. Keeping in mind, that we just got unlimited plans (10gb, then throttle) in the country a few months back and get pounded in regards to cellular services cost by the oligopolies that exist here.
Anyways, back onto the actual service it was flawless. I did an article recently on Xbox Game Streaming which uses your phone to mirror your console. I thought it was great, but did note some occasional issues. I’m happy to report that with Project xCloud which uses Microsoft servers that it is almost flawless.
I say almost as I experienced four or five wavy pixel situations in a couple hours of gameplay. I tested a number of games including Halo: The Master Chief Collection; SoulCalibur VI, Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4 and Killer Instinct. I will be testing more out in the future, and hope to do some additional gameplay videos. It’s just harder to capture video as Pixel 4 has blocked video out.
When it comes to latency I didn’t notice any with the Bluetooth on my Xbox One controller, or the MOGA controller. It didn’t seem to have any movement lag, and I didn’t have any issues in regards to the gamepad input. So for the most this really is just flawless play, a phrase that may bother some individuals. I will note that while it looks and handles perfectly fine, during multiplayer heavy matches it seems like the audio has some minor issues to it that will need to be ironed out.
I didn’t have issues during Halo multiplayer in Big Team Battle; 4v4 or Infection, but saw it a bit in Forza Horizon 4 open world exploration and Gears 5 quickplay. Don’t dwell on that note, it’s not really that bad but I want to make sure that I cover each aspect of this so that you get the full accurate details. It really is a great service, and I can’t wait to see this expanded to IOS as the iPhone XS is my primary phone of use. For now, it’s fantastic to seemingly use close to my connection or even upstairs without problems.
Prior to sleeping I put in some time with SoulCalibur and Halo, it was great. I probably shouldn’t be using another distraction before getting to sleep but it’s awesome. I would have loved having this while in school, and I imagine many will enjoy this while commuting to work or killing time at places. It really is those big games you love, anywhere at any time. You can do that, while not having to carry around a portable console with diminished quality.
I mentioned earlier that this is going to be an evolution for how we interact with games, and it will be. I think it’ll be an even bigger deal for those that don’t necessarily want a console but still want to engage with these games. It’ll be incredible for markets in the world that don’t have the resources, making these titles just generally more accessible and thus expanding the market.
It’s great for game sales, and honestly benefits me as there will be more eyes on the content I produce. This is going to be a really big deal gaming wise. My time with xCloud has been positive at this point, the titles look great on the smaller screen and it’s been fantastic. I can’t wait to see additional experiences getting added to this, and to test it out further over cellular.
I’d love to hear how it’s running for others experiencing this, as I imagine it will differ based on the speeds available to your device. I know cellular will be a big deal, and I don’t think it’ll be too much of a problem once 5G rolls out with larger data plans in the future. Keep in mind that this is in testing, and that it will be a long term setup as it aims to grow the Xbox ecosystem in a new way. You can read our review of Gears 5 below, or check out the platform hub for additional coverage.
Read our Gears 5 Review
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