Google did not announce Stadia in a vacuum. Game streaming services have been in the making for years, with varying degrees of success. The technology for providing near-instantaneous high-end graphics over miles of cable and Wi-Fi networks has only recently become robust enough. Therefore, it is not surprising that Microsoft announced on Tuesday the public preview of its own remote gaming service xCloud, which will be available next month, and Gamescom an early preview of what it has been working on and announced it a year ago. By releasing the public preview, Microsoft wants to test scalability and identify issues that arise when non-employee users play outside controlled networks.
Like Xbox with Halo, xCloud is also started. The first games available on the platform are Halo 5: Guardians, Gears 5, Killer Instinct, and Sea of Thieves. More games are planned as Microsoft works to improve the game service.
To participate in the preview, you need a phone or tablet with Android 6 Marshmallow or higher with Bluetooth 4.0, a Microsoft account, and an Xbox One controller. You should have at least 1
The public preview will be available this October in the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea. To sign up, go to the Microsoft xCloud website, click "Register Now" at the bottom of the page, complete a form, and hope to receive an invitation. The company states that the service can be tested for free and does not announce any pricing. Microsoft even says it will be "a multi-year journey to deploy this technology" so you can expect the company to open the preview for more people and countries before a stable release is released.
The one-year trial deployment is far more cautious than Google's quest for disruption. It will be interesting to see how the competition develops in the long run. The comfortable position of the Redmond company in the gaming industry allows him to be more thoughtful, and the service may feel more complete than Google's at launch.