Microsoft Aims For 2020 Launch Of xCloud Game Streaming Service

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Microsoft's upcoming Project xCloud game streaming service will apparently launch next year.

There's no hard release date yet, but Phil Spencer believes it will "generally be ready in 2020." That may be good or bad news depending on how you take it.

If you're eager to have full access to this service in a fully launched state, generally available could be a far off. On the other hand Microsoft will no doubt want to compete with Stadia, Google's cloud gaming service which launches next week. So it might not wait too long.

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That being said, Microsoft isn't shooting for anything too ambitious here. It's simply plotting out what it thinks is a reasonable time frame for release.

The xCloud launch is preceded by the preview

Sure, xCloud may not be launching until sometime in 2020. And no, Phil Spencer hasn't mentioned an exact date of arrival. Or what the cost will be.

That's not really too big of a deal though for now. That's because the xCloud preview is already available. With this preview you can play Xbox games on your Android smartphone just as you could if the service was launched. All you need are two things.

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One, you need an Xbox One controller. And two, you need an invite to the preview. The second one is a little harder to come by, but Microsoft has already invited plenty of people into the program. And it's sending out more invites throughout the rest of the year and beyond.

Meaning, you should have plenty of time to give the preview of xCloud a try if you've signed up to participate.

Support for PC streaming is coming alongside more controllers

Microsoft wants to do big things with xCloud. While it may have started small with just the Xbox One controller and a small handful of games, it's expanding on both of those.

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The plan is to add support for more controllers in 2020. Likely as part of the launch or sometime after. It's coming though, and that's good news if you don't own an Xbox One controller.

As for which controllers are supported, Spencer says that support will be added for the DualShock 4 and controllers from Razer. It will be supporting other Bluetooth controllers as well.

In addition to more controller support, xCloud is going to be expanding to PCs. So, you'll be able to stream your Xbox games like Gears 5 and more to your phone or to your desktop.

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In addition to xCloud, Microsoft also recently launched the Xbox Console Streaming preview on Android devices. Letting Xbox One owners stream their library of games to supported phones.