Vodafone UK partners with Microsoft to stream Xbox games using xCloud

Microsoft has partnered with Vodafone to provide its customers with the opportunity to participate in the official Project xCloud public preview in order to “better understand how the technology will work on mobile networks, and to understand how 5G and 4G networks can best support gamers”.

Calling the new venture a “technical partnership to optimise the technology for gamers in the UK”, Microsoft said Project xCloud will enable “true ‘gaming on the go’ so players can enjoy some of their favourite Xbox console games on their smartphone or tablet”. Vodafone – the first UK network to collaborate with Microsoft in “these ground-breaking trials” – states its 5G network, which it reports is available in more places than any other network, is “perfect for game streaming and will allow players to have the ultimate gaming experience on the go”.

For more information – or to apply – head to xbox.com/xbox-game-streaming. The trials begin in October 2019 and participants will need a phone or tablet running Android 6.0 or higher and Bluetooth 4.0, a Microsoft account, and a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One wireless controller to get involved. 

“Play Xbox games on your mobile phone or tablet,” Microsoft said. “With Xbox Game Streaming (Preview), players will have more ways to play on the devices they already own, where and when they want to play. Join us on our journey as we begin to roll out initial tests. Get a first look and stream Xbox games to your Android phone or tablet starting October 2019.”

“You’ll have two ways to stream, there’s a new platform feature: Console Streaming. It turns your Xbox One into your own personal and free xCloud server,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer announced at E3 in June. “Which is a logical expansion of the local Wi-Fi streaming the platform already allows to other Windows-based devices on your home network.

That “free” part means Microsoft will only charge users for using cloud-based servers. The idea of a free to use cloud for Xbox owners is a brilliant one, leveraging the huge install base to encourage use in the service, without having to provide inordinate servers for users who already have idle Xbox consoles in their homes.

“Whether you’re using a console in our data centre, or your console at home, this October you’ll be able to use a hybrid gaming cloud to play your games wherever you go,” Spencer continued. “Where you play is now entirely your choice, you decide.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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