Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft’s service that allows you to play tons of games straight from your PC browser, has finally left its closed beta and is now open for business. Microsoft has announced that, starting today, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers with a Windows PC can log in and try it out. And, of course, you don’t have to use Microsoft Edge. No matter how much the company has been pushing that browser, it won’t limit other users. That is, unless you’re still running Firefox.
Getting in on the Xbox Cloud Gaming open beta is an easy enough affair. You will need to be an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber to join, however. Naturally, that means having to shell out for the $15 USD a month subscription. But if you are a member, then all you have to do is navigate to the Xbox Cloud Gaming website and sign in with your subscriber email. The website mimics the Xbox PC app, separating games by genre while providing a button to check out everything in stock. And there’s a lot on offer, with more than 200 games playable.
It’s not perfect, however, and there are some caveats to consider. First off, I’m sure you noticed my Firefox remark that not everything is getting supported. Microsoft is listing three compatible internet browsers: Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Apple’s Safari. Mozilla’s Firefox is currently not supported by the service. I tried it on Firefox on my end, and while I could browse the selection, starting a game issued a warning that there could be problems. I attempted to start up Sea of Thieves, but it wouldn’t connect after multiple tries. Sorry, Firefox users. You’ll also need to be running on a Windows 10 PC.
Not all perfect, mind
The other caveat is that Xbox Cloud Gaming open beta only includes console games to stream. While Xbox head boss Phil Spencer has said PC games will arrive some day, they aren’t available now. Naturally, this means you won’t be able to play any of the games using a mouse and keyboard. You’ll need a compatible controller if you want to get in on the action.
I gave it a shot moments before writing up the article. It was my first time taking Xbox Cloud Gaming for a spin, and I walked away with some thoughts. Starting up a game is quick; loading into Halo: The Master Chief Collection took around five to 15 seconds on my multiple attempts. However, there was a noticeable input delay, even though I’m way beyond the 10 Mbps requirement. I can see the service being a good option for those on iOS and Android. However, PC users should probably stick with the Xbox app for now.