The pivot towards cloud gaming revolves partly around the idea of a universal fluidity for users. Companies have decided that selling the ability to game anywhere and with any device (regardless if it's a console or not) is the next big thing. Even Walmart tried to take a stab at it. So it’s no wonder the existing big names in gaming are having a go, too.
In an announcement yesterday, Xbox introduced updates to its app that will allow people to remotely play console games on PCs (running Windows 10). The updates add support for:
- Playing Xbox Game Pass games from the cloud
- Playing games directly from your console with Xbox remote play
Whether or not you actually have an Xbox will not matter when it comes to accessing titles from the console. However, to stream games from the cloud in the Xbox app on a Windows 10 PC, you will need to be an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member. It will certainly be an easier alternative than downloading and then installing them on a given device.
While there has been a beta version of Xbox Cloud Gaming for Game Pass members, this was done through a browser, which was somewhat of a tedious process — opening up a web page to go to Xbox’s website and signing in. Now you can jump straight into a game directly through the app.
What about the Xbox owners? — For those with an actual Xbox, you haven’t been forgotten. Xbox Remote Play will let console-owners (Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, or any generation of Xbox One) play games they already own on a PC, as long as they have an internet connection. To put it simply, it is now possible to replicate your gaming experience on a different device, while also becoming more mobile. Remote Play is accessible through the Xbox App and marks the first time the feature has been enabled on PC for Xbox Series X / S owners.
Ultimately this update is another strong move towards cloud gaming and arrives on the heels of Xbox Cloud Gaming upgrading to Series X hardware. Gaming companies want you to be able to play their wares on any device and as this flexibility continues it makes us wonder what will happen to exclusives. As consoles become more intertwined, their distinctions will also begin to flatten out — Does this mean console-specific games are going to be less prominent?
Perhaps, but in the meantime, we’re just excited we can play Xbox titles on PC, Android phones and tablets, and iPhones and iPads.