Cloud streaming is a new mode for playing video games, and Microsoft’s first attempt, Project xCloud, shows what the future of gaming could be. It puts Google’s Stadia to shame with higher quality, more compatibility, and less delay between devices.
I’ve been using Project xCloud for almost two months on two different devices to see how well it performs. After hearing about the disappointment around Stadia, I honestly thought xCloud couldn’t pull off something so ambitious that even the tech giant Google couldn’t do correctly, but, surprisingly, Microsoft managed to get a well-polished service that’s still only in its beta.
The first thing that Microsoft does well is decrease delay. This ultimately makes or breaks a cloud streaming service. You might not think much about it, but on competitive games where every millisecond and button input are necessary for success, delay becomes annoying and eventually unplayable.
They managed to achieve this feat by having more dedicated servers and by adding an option to stream from your own console, instead of a server several hundreds of miles away.
Another thing that makes xCloud the superior service is the fact that it is more universal and compatible with more devices. With Stadia, you need Google’s official Stadia controller and special Chromecast Ultra dongle, which, in total, cost $129, not including shipping, since they are only available through purchase on Google’s website.
On the other hand, the only thing you need for xCloud is an Xbox controller with bluetooth, which costs $60, and comes standard with the Xbox console itself. Microsoft also plans to bring xCloud to IOS and PC in the next few months, as well as support for Playstation controllers.
xCloud is not only affordable, but also gives users access to free AAA games. The small cost is tiny compared to Google’s service, where you have to pay a $10 monthly fee on top of the highly overpriced games.
The size of xCloud’s game library is massive compared to Stadia’s. Stadia currently has 22 games available to purchase with four more being released this year. xCloud’s library includes the free starter games, as well as any game that can run on an Xbox one console. This includes exclusive titles such as the “Forza” series or “Halo.”
Overall, Microsoft’s xCloud is well rounded, and is the best option for cloud streaming right now.
The Mount is produced by the students of Mount Michael Benedictine School.