Microsoft wants you to help test its Project xCloud game streaming service

Offer includes free access to Gears 5, Halo 5, Killer Instinct, and Sea of Thieves if you sign up.

Credit: IDG / Hayden Dingman

Google’s set to usher in video game streaming this year with Stadia, but Microsoft’s competing service Project xCloud isn’t far behind. During today’s Inside Xbox stream, Microsoft announced a public test of the service that kicks off in October. You can sign up here with your Microsoft account, if you’re interested.

It’s fairly similar to Google’s Stadia test last year, with Microsoft offering free access to games in exchange for participation. The difference of course is that Microsoft makes games, so where Stadia only offered access to Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, the xCloud preview will include Microsoft’s Gears 5, Halo 5: Guardians, Killer Instinct, and Sea of Thieves for free.

Sea of Thieves seems relatively safe for a streaming service, but the rest of that list consists of two shooters and a fighting game. That’s a bold move on Microsoft’s part. Latency is the biggest hurdle for xCloud to overcome, and those genres are some of the least forgiving when it comes to masking input lag. For Microsoft to put Halo and Killer Instinct front and center? They’re clearly very confident. Maybe too confident.

We’ll know soon enough. I played Gears on a phone during E3, but I’m trying to reserve judgment on all these streaming services until I’ve tested them at home, on my real internet connection—or, better yet, at multiple homes on multiple connections.

It’s worth noting as well that the public test is only for mobile devices—and only Android devices running Android 6.0 or higher. Microsoft has hinted in the past that xCloud will eventually be able to stream games to PC and Xbox as well, but the current test is intended for phones and tablets, streaming over both WiFi and mobile from Microsoft Azure. Also, it’s limited to the United States, United Kingdom, and South Korea to start.

If you meet all those criteria? As I said, you’re welcome to sign up here. We’ll keep you updated when the test goes live, and hopefully have some thoughts on it soon. Given Microsoft’s status as a publisher and as a platform owner, I’m certainly more curious about xCloud’s future than I am Stadia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Hayden Dingman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?