Microsoft is starting to stream in cloud games in a big way, where all subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will automatically have access to stream these games on Android next month. But if you just can not wait to play Gears 5 on your Pixel 4, you can do it … right now. The service is available as a beta test right now.
Previously, “xCloud”; (as it was known before Microsoft’s inevitable and inevitably boring rebrand) was a closed beta, with a few thousand participants selected from an application site. But today’s launch is for everyone in the supported countries. All you need is an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription ($ 15 per month for about a hundred games on Xbox One and PC) and an Android phone.
Microsoft makes it very clear that this beta is, indeed, a beta, with the Play Store listing covered by warnings and revelations that its use entitles Microsoft to any feedback you may have. But assuming this is one last test run before the service goes live, it’s really worth checking out, as it’s a free perk for the already excellent Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Oh, and if you’re wondering when this game will come to the iPhone … keep wondering. Apple seems committed to blocking most or all of the new game streaming services from the App Store. There are also no indications that these games will be able to stream to your computer without requiring a complete installation and the hardware to run them.