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Microsoft’s game streaming service will be free to Xbox owners, since it’s not part of xCloud

Published Jun 13th, 2019 7:31AM EDT
Microsoft xCloud Game Streaming
Image: Microsoft

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Microsoft is expected to be one of the leading players in the future game streaming wars, but the company didn’t share too many details about its xCloud streaming platform at E3 2019. Instead, Microsoft announced that game streaming would roll out to Xbox One owners this fall, when they’ll be able to use it to stream games to other devices, including iPhone and Android handsets. Unlike Google, which revealed pricing for Stadia a few days earlier, Microsoft never mentioned how much xCloud will cost. But we have new developments for gamers: Game streaming will be available free of charge if you own an Xbox One, but it’s not quite xCloud.

Microsoft spoke to TechCrunch about its game streaming endeavors, and while it didn’t reveal the pricing for xCloud, the company did make it very clear that game streaming from one’s Xbox isn’t considered a part of Project xCloud.

Game streaming from your Xbox is a separate feature that will be enabled via a software update down the road. And the advantage of console game streaming over xCloud is that it’ll be free of charge, Microsoft revealed.

That means you won’t have to pay anything, except for the Xbox One hardware and the games you want to play, to stream them to additional devices in your home.

While we still wished we knew what to expect from xCloud when it comes to availability and pricing, it’s still great to hear that console game streaming will be free of charge to users.

Microsoft didn’t elaborate on the kind of performance you should expect when streaming Xbox games from your own consoles. Nor did it say how console game streaming will compare to xCloud streaming.

Come fall, when Stadia also launches, we should get a better idea of what to expect from Microsoft’s own game streaming services, starting with console streaming.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.