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Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud will be combined into one reveal Microsoft

Microsoft is getting its cloud streaming service ready for the big time, as Phil Spencer criticises Sony for encouraging next gen exclusives.

Things are changing very quickly with Microsoft’s Xbox services and consoles, with the announcement that their cloud streaming service will be combined with Xbox Game Pass at no extra cost – if you’re already an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member.

Microsoft has hinted at the move before but the new service is even better value than expected, since an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription already gives access to dozens of downloadable PC and console games and includes Xbox Live Gold access – all for £10.99 a month.

The news was announced in a new blog but Project xCloud was not mentioned by name and since that was only ever a codename it’s likely to be getting a proper one very soon.


The preview version of Project xCloud already has 50 games that can be streamed via smartphone or tablet, including big-hitters such as Gears Of War, Halo 5, and Destiny 2. That total is set to double by the time the service officially launches though.

What’s not clear though is whether Project xCloud will be available separately and how much that will cost if it is.

The blog also makes no specific mention of Xbox Live Gold, which has mysteriously just removed the option to buy a 12-month subscription. So it’s unclear whether it will still be necessary and/or available separately in the next gen.

What the blog, written by Xbox boss Phil Spencer, does say though is that you, ‘won’t be forced into the next generation’. Which continues his spirited defence of the fact that the Xbox Series X will not have any exclusive games for at least the first year, whereas Sony has confirmed the opposite for the PlayStation 5.

‘We want every Xbox player to play all the new games from Xbox Game Studios’, writes Spencer. ‘That’s why Xbox Game Studios titles we release in the next couple of years – like Halo Infinite – will be available and play great on Xbox Series X and Xbox One. We won’t force you to upgrade to Xbox Series X at launch to play Xbox exclusives.’

‘Unlike others, we believe that your investments in gaming should move with you into the next generation’, says Spencer in an uncharacteristically aggressive potshot at Sony.

Less controversially, he confirms that all current Xbox One accessories will work on the Xbox Series X, including the Elite Controller and Xbox Adaptive Controller.

He also reiterates that existing games will run better on Xbox Series X and will ‘load faster and look and perform many times better on the new console’.

Microsoft has its Xbox Games Showcase scheduled for Thursday, 23 July and while it’s not expected to talk much about hardware it may go into more detail on the future of Game Pass there.


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