Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will be able to start playing a limited number of Game Pass games streamed to their phones as part of a new xCloud beta starting August 11.
“[W]e’re entering a limited beta period to ensure a smooth transition of the cloud gaming experience to the Xbox Game Pass app on Android,” a spokesperson for Microsoft in a statement. The beta will let people who are subscribed to Game Pass Ultimate use the service’s existing Android app to stream “a subset of the available titles” to their phones. iPhone users, meanwhile, remain out of luck thanks to Apple’s existing ban on video game streaming apps on the App Store.
This new functionality for the Game Pass app will be separate from the existing Project xCloud Preview app that’s been in beta since last year and is set to be discontinued on September 11. When Game Pass Ultimate streaming launches for real a few days later on September 15, it’ll support somewhere north of 100 games, including the entire Halo series as well as stuff like Ark: Survival Evolved and Destiny 2. It’s not yet clear how many of these will be available to stream once tomorrow’s beta begins. Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request by Kotaku for comment.
I’ve been trying xCloud off and on since last year using the Preview app, and have been impressed by how well the experience holds together. Even when the service wasn’t running super smoothly, it was still nice to be able to pick up games on the fly while watching TV or commuting to work to slowly chip away at them. Now if only I could get it on my Switch.