Microsoft’s game streaming service, Xbox Cloud Gaming, is set to officially launch in Australia sometime before the end of the year. With only four months until 2022, that’s not a long time to wait at all.
The announcement was made late last night in an email sent to both Project xCloud Preview applicants and participants from Microsoft’s Phil Spencer.
“There are unique moments when the entire gaming paradigm shifts,” Spencer says in the email. “Right now is one of those moments. I hope you feel proud that your feedback and your contributions helped shape it and define the future of cloud gaming for all.”
The email confirms that Xbox Cloud Gaming will launch on iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets, and Windows PCs. As with other regions, Xbox Cloud Gaming will be accessible to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers.
There was no mention of a launch of Xbox Cloud Gaming on Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles but this functionality has been confirmed to be in the pipeline and will likely come to Australia soon after launch if not at launch.
Xbox Cloud Gaming lets users play video games on their devices that are run entirely on Microsoft’s servers. A constant internet connection is needed for this to work but, on the flip side, the hardware used doesn’t need to be as powerful (nor as expensive) as it would have to be if it were running the game locally.
It’s kind of like streaming a movie from Netflix as opposed to processing the entire film and all of its transitions and edits on your smartphone or laptop. Xbox Cloud Gaming allows the latest major video game releases to be played on relatively old smartphones, tablets, computers, and (eventually) Xbox consoles.