Google and Apple beware: One of the console veterans is bringing the heat to the video game streaming war. Between Apple Arcade’s debut and the looming launch of Google’s Stadia, game streaming is the hottest new fad for future-minded tech companies. Now Xbox is giving a big update on its own entry: Project xCloud.
While Microsoft debuted trailer after trailer for upcoming games at its X019 conference in London, the company also delved into the streaming details. According to The Verge, Xbox is expanding the library for its service from five (its launch library) to 50. Built on the same model as Stadia, where the games are run on a different backend than the gamer’s computer, so all they need is an internet connection to play AAA titles, xCloud now boasts half a dozen more titles than the Google service — and 40 more than it’s launching with.
Xbox is running the service — which now offers games like Soulcalibur VI, Devil May Cry 5, Madden NFL 20, Hitman, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition — as a free preview for now, with many more titles (and a PC version) planned for 2020 ... though likely coming with a new subscription fee.
Other newness coming to the console includes the slew of games that had trailer debuts at X019, many of which had genre elements. Some, like Grounded (from The Outer Worlds studio Obsidian), offered up sci-fi madness in a shrunken survival game:
Others gave off more of a Hellboy vibe, like the Ron Perlman-starring supernatural shoot-'em-up West of Dead, now available in open beta:
But few were as gorgeous as Rare’s mysterious open-world fairy tale Everwild:
Other news included Halo: Reach, heading to Xbox One in a 4K remaster on Dec. 3 — which is big for fans of the classic Microsoft franchise who’ve been jonesing for a copy of what some consider the best game in the series.