Next Xbox Game Pass Ultimate upgrade will make your gaming PC redundant

The Xbox Game Pass Logo in front of four video game characters, including Halo's Master Chief and Mortal Kombat's Scorpion
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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Xbox Game Pass members might soon be able to stream games that aren’t included in the subscription service, as Microsoft expands the functionality of Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Bundled with all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions, Xbox Cloud Gaming lets you stream titles to your Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC. Currently, you can only stream select titles from the Xbox Game Pass library. At Microsoft's 2019 X019 event, the company shared plans to let members "stream from the cloud Xbox games that they already own or will purchase" by 2020. 

That window came and went without the update, but Microsoft reaffirmed that goal this year in a June Xbox Wire post (opens in new tab), with editor Will Tuttle saying we could expect it "later this year." Now, it appears that the feature could be rolling out sooner rather than later.

The Xbox Cloud Gaming logo recently appeared on the store pages of several non-Game Pass titles. Twitter user @Knoebelbroet (opens in new tab) spotted Elden Ring and GTA 5 bearing a cloud gaming badge, as did u/ManejadorDeEspadas (opens in new tab) on Reddit. Meanwhile, Twitter user Wesley72745610 (opens in new tab) noticed the logo on Red Dead Redemption 2, The Witcher 3, Dark Souls 3, and more. 

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The Xbox Cloud Gaming logo recently appeared on the store pages of several non-Game Pass titles. Twitter user @Knoebelbroet (opens in new tab) spotted Elden Ring and GTA 5 bearing a cloud gaming badge, as did u/ManejadorDeEspadas (opens in new tab) on Reddit. Meanwhile, Twitter user Wesley72745610 (opens in new tab) noticed the logo on Red Dead Redemption 2, The Witcher 3, Dark Souls 3, and more. 

The logos have since been removed, with a bug being cited as the cause (via Eurogamer (opens in new tab)) but their appearance suggests that Microsoft is likely gearing up to add the titles to the streaming platform fairly soon. Now we're in August, Microsoft only has four months left to make good on its promise, and roll out the new feature before the end of the year.

Say goodbye to your pricey gaming rig

A laptop, tablet and phone running Sea of Thieves through Xbox Cloud Gaming

(Image credit: Microsoft)

When the expanded service does launch, it could be a game-changer. The titles mentioned above are some of the biggest releases of the last few years, and having the option to play them through the cloud makes them far more accessible to PC gamers. You won’t need a top-of-the-line rig kitted out with the best graphics card to play them. Instead, you can purchase the games for console, redeem them through your Microsoft account, and start streaming on any old rusty PC. That’s potentially a big saving.

It should also save you from having to wait for your most anticipated games to come to Game Pass. Beloved behemoths like GTA 5 are unlikely to ever hit Microsoft’s subscription platform, but this new and improved Xbox Cloud Gaming should let you stream it on your PC anyway.  Microsoft hasn’t yet announced which games will be steamable, but those spotted by the Twitter sleuths above hint at a broad selection.

Don’t expect all of your gaming woes to evaporate overnight, though. You’ll still need to buy the game, subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and, most importantly, have a reliable internet connection capable of streaming. Xbox Cloud Gaming doesn’t yet support mouse and keyboard, either, only letting you stream games that can be played with a controller. That should change in the future, however, as Microsoft is currently working on adding support for the PC peripheral

Callum Bains
Gaming News Writer

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.