Microsoft’s cloud gaming ambitions took another step forward this week with testing starting on a browser-based version of its Xbox Cloud Gaming service, previously (and better) known as xCloud.
The Verge reported that Microsoft employees are now testing a web version of the service, which is being launched as a workaround for iOS devices, as Apple is unwilling to allow game streaming apps on the App Store.
The web version appears to be largely similar to previous app-based versions for Android devices. With a game browser providing recommendations, and full-screen gameplay. What’s not clear presently is whether it can also support the touch-screen controls of the app, or whether a controller is always required.
According to The Verge, the web version appears to work on Chronium browsers, such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Amazon and Google are both already using similar setups for their Luna and Stadia services respectively.
Microsoft’s cloud gaming service is a slow burner in our eyes. Unlike Luna and Stadia that stand alone, the Xbox service is simply another pillar to Microsoft’s mantra of letting the player decide where and what to play.
While it could increase engagement for the company, or allow it to reach new regions, it’s just part of a broader package, which maybe explains why it chose a name that doesn’t make it stand out from the rest of the Xbox offering.