A couple of days back I was lucky enough to get an invite to try the preview of Microsoft's project xCloud. Project xCloud is a console streaming service that allows you to stream games from the Microsoft cloud directly to your mobile phone using an Xbox controller to control the game.
So with an Android phone in one hand and my Xbox controller in the other hand, here are my first impressions of the xCloud console streaming service.
Games On Project xCloud
There are a good range of games to try out on Project xCloud but for my first game I thought I would go for a game I know well and have spent a lot of time playing.. Forza Horizon 4. I have also been playing Ace Combat 7 in campaign mode to see what the performance was like when playing a single player game without any co-op features. When the service goes live I expect there will already be a significant number of games available to play.
Performance & Connectivity
Before trying out xCloud, performance and connectivity issues were my main concern.
To test it out I am using an Android phone running Android 8.0 with a 1080p display, an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 system-on-chip, and 3 GB of RAM.
I noticed very quickly that I was seeing connectivity issues with games lagging. This however was quickly fixed by switching over from my 2.4GHz wireless network to my 5GHz wireless network. As soon as I was connected to the 5GHz wireless network there was a vast improvement in performance but still a slight delay every so often as it tried to keep. It is still in preview so i reckon these very small performance issues will get resolved.
Phone & Controller
Playing games on your phone using a controller is made much easier if you purchase a phone holder that clips onto your Xbox controller. You can buy one of these over on Amazon. They really are a must to get the best experience from xCloud.
Microsoft have really got something good here and I am sure it will further improve through the feedback they are receiving from the Project xCloud preview program.
I don't think this will ever replace your Xbox at home but it gives you the ability to play your favourite Xbox games even when your not at home.
The xCloud service will be a great addition to the current Xbox services.