Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service is getting a large update later this year. Xbox Game Pass users now will get to stream games in full HD resolution.
It’s clear that Microsoft has big plans for their Xbox Cloud Gaming service. Previously known as Project xCloud, the service allows Xbox Game Pass users to stream games across various devices.
From smartphones, tablets, and computers, Xbox Cloud Gaming lets players take their games on the move and enjoy them in new ways. One day, it could even allow the Xbox brand to transition away from traditional games consoles entirely.
Microsoft is clearly thinking about the future and how their Xbox brand could evolve along with modern technology. They have even suggested that the Xbox Cloud Gaming service could allow Game Pass users to play Xbox games on PlayStation and Nintendo consoles.
Should Microsoft one day decide to abandon the console market, Xbox could live on through Game Pass; and Cloud Gaming could enable that. In 2020 the service went from strength to strength, but it’s due to receive a significant upgrade in 2021.
Xbox Cloud Gaming Strengths and Weaknesses
At the moment, streaming Xbox games through Cloud Gaming is convenient, but the service isn’t on par with a traditional console/TV experience. The quality, be it performance or resolution, still leaves a lot to be desired.
Those playing games on an Xbox Series X console through a modern TV often get to enjoy full 4K resolution at a steady 60fps. This is not the case when it comes to streaming games through Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Of course, the stream's quality may also be dependant on the device it’s playing on; this is currently limited to a restricted 720p. Even when the device is perfectly capable of 4K, which many smartphones, tablets, and computers are.
While it wouldn’t be realistic to expect Xbox Cloud Gaming to reach the dizzying heights of the Xbox Series X every time, 720p is a little too Xbox 360 for our liking.
We understand that most older devices that are compatible with Xbox Cloud Gaming might cap at 1080p, but this would be a more acceptable minimum resolution. Device and broadband connection dependant, of course.
Xbox Cloud Gaming Tested in Full 1080p
Fortunately, this is exactly what Microsoft is planning to do, according to a new WindowsCentral report. Microsoft is currently testing Xbox Game Pass at 1080p in an attempt to improve the performance and the visual quality.
Devices locked at 720p will still cap at that resolution, but this will enable those capable of 1080p to run at the standard of the Xbox One. It’s also reasonable to assume that 4K will be next on Microsoft’s agenda - once 1080p is the standard.
Of course, not everyone owns a 4K compatible tablet, smartphone, or computer. But it’s reasonable to assume that more and more people will in time.
Microsoft is treating their Xbox Cloud Gaming and Xbox Game Pass with the utmost priority in 2021, seemingly as much as they are giving their Xbox Series X/S. A console that can already upscale the visual fidelity of older games.
This is because that we suspect both services will soon be the jewels in the Xbox crown. This is especially true if the Microsoft keeps buying other gaming giants like Bethesda.