Announced by Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer in a blog post, Game Pass Ultimate members will automatically be entitled to Project xCloud services at no extra cost. It means subscribers can play over 100 included titles on phones and tablets – including the upcoming Halo Infinite upon its release. xCloud game streaming includes cross-saving, meaning you can theoretically play Halo Infinite on a console at home, and pick it back up on your mobile device elsewhere.
A couple of points remain unclear. For a start, it’s not totally clear whether the xCloud integration is a full subscription to the upcoming streaming service, or if it applies only to games included in Game Pass. The combined Game Pass Ultimate and xCloud membership will only be available in “supported countries”, which also remain unspecified at time of writing.
When asked for comment on both of these points, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “We’ll share specifics as we get closer to launch.”
Project xCloud is Xbox’s game streaming service, which will eventually allow users to play Xbox games across multiple, non-Xbox devices using remote servers. After an early xCloud hands-on, we called the service an “impressive first step towards a “portable” rendition of Xbox One that allows you to bring console gaming anywhere.”
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The announcement comes as part of a lengthy blog post from Spencer, which, among other elements, commits to new technology to combat hate speech and toxicity, bringing more diverse stories (by creators from diverse backgrounds) to Xbox, and Xbox Games Studios releasing games compatible on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X for “the next couple of years”.
Even without xCloud integration, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers one of the best ongoing deals in gaming right now, comprising Xbox Live Gold (and its monthly free games) and the Game Pass catalogue, which currently offers over 100 games, free to download, to subscribers.
It’s been confirmed that Game Pass will be available on Xbox Series X, and include – at the very least – all games released by Xbox’s own studios for the next-gen console. Phil Spencer recently called the idea that Xbox Series X games were being held back by being made workable on Xbox One “a meme that gets created by people who are too caught up in device competition.”