Microsoft starts testing Xbox cloud gaming on the web

The experience in your browser will seem familiar.

You don't have to wonder what Xbox cloud gaming looks like on the web. The Verge has learned that Microsoft has started testing xCloud game streaming in browsers, and the experience will seem familiar if you've tried it on Android devices. A straightforward launcher both helps you fire up recent games and find new ones to play through your (necessary) Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

Testers need a controller to play Xbox games, and the test is currently limited to Chromium-based browsers like Chrome or Microsoft Edge. It may be a while before you know what the experience is like on an iOS device, then. It's also unclear what resolution Microsoft is using for gameplay, although it's unlikely to be 4K when the company is upgrading its cloud infrastructure to Xbox Series X hardware later in 2021.

This is closed testing for now, although Microsoft has promised to make iOS and PC streaming available on the web in the spring. The dry run suggests the tech giant is on track. Suffice it to say this will be an important expansion. The whole point of Microsoft's cloud gaming is to make Xbox titles available wherever you want to play, and a browser option could make the service far more accessible — and help justify that $15 monthly fee.