Microsoft Project xCloud game-streaming service starts public trial next month

(Image credit: Microsoft)

As steam picks up for the imminent launch of Microsoft’s game-streaming service, Project xCloud, the software and gaming giant has today released the official details on a public preview program set to be launched in October.

With Project xCloud, gamers will be able to play the latest Xbox One games by simply streaming them onto their mobile devices. It makes use of Microsoft's existing data centers, which will run special servers kitted out with Xbox components in order to play and broadcast the games.

The program has been operating internally amongst Microsoft staff for some time, but this public trial is designed to provide a controlled method for testing xCloud’s capacities in real-world environments.

Where do I sign up?

For this initial test, the preview will be available to gamers in the US, UK and Korea who register their interest. To sign up, you’ll need to fill out information relating to your mobile device, network and postal code.

In the US and UK, it doesn’t matter which carrier you’re with as all of them will be considered for the program, but for those in Korea, SK Telecom customers will be prioritized in the first batch of participants.

Microsoft has stated it will be sending out a “limited number” of invites out to start with, and will “slowly increase the number of invitees over time” in order to test the waters steadily – but the company also admits that it anticipates it will “be unable to accommodate all applicants”.

Four Xbox One titles will be playable with the launch of the trial – Halo 5: Guardians, Gears 5, Killer Instinct, and Sea of Thieves – but further games will be rolled out as the preview progresses.

As for the length of the trial, Microsoft intends to run it for as long as is needed to ensure the technology is meeting its internal standards and that customers are getting a “great, fun experience”.

Currently, only phones or tablets running Android 6.0 or higher, and supporting Bluetooth 4.0 or higher, are compatible with Project xCloud. You’ll also need a Microsoft account, and a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controller, but users can choose to play across either a Wi-Fi or cellular network.

Harry Domanski
Harry is an Australian Journalist for TechRadar with an ear to the ground for future tech, and the other in front of a vintage amplifier. He likes stories told in charming ways, and content consumed through massive screens. He also likes to get his hands dirty with the ethics of the tech.