The cloud gaming revolution is well underway and Microsoft have thrown their hat into the ring with the Xbox Cloud.
The xCloud will be a game-changer for PC gaming and probably draw attention away from the home consoles. Here's exactly why it's such an important development for video gaming.
What is the xCloud?
xCloud has been making its mark on Android phones and tablets over the past year, but Microsoft want to bring it to more platforms. The next area in its crosshairs are browsers for PC and Mac.
If you're wondering which games are available through xCloud, there's a lot to choose from. All of the titles currently accessible through Xbox Game Pass will be accessible on the web version.
We’ve now had our first look at how the UI may look upon its public release:
xCloud on browser is currently only in the testing phase and is only available for Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, so it could look very different upon release.
How will xCloud work on PC?
Let's say that you're an Xbox Game Pass subscriber and you want to play Wreckfest or Dirt 5 on your PC. However, your PC isn't exactly the top of the range, so that's game over, right?
Not with xCloud it isn't!
Just like how cloud storage eliminates the need for you to personally have lots of data storage, you don't need a good PC for cloud gaming. The processing is carried out by a server, not your home computer.
This is huge as you can now enjoy the latest and greatest games without having to invest a high-end computer. xCloud will make gaming far more accessible to gamers on a lower budget.
This goes for the storage of the games as well. With xCloud, you won't have spent hours downloading a 100GB title and update it with 5GB patch every other week.
Why xCloud makes sim racing more accessible
xCloud doesn't make sim rig equipment like pedals and wheels and seats less expensive. What it does do is eliminate the need to upgrade your PC to play the latest games.
That means that gamers can funnel money into racing hardware like extra monitors, headsets or even a better internet service to eliminate lag online.
In the long run, this will save thousands, as high-end gaming PCs need to be upgraded every few years otherwise they won't have the required performance to run games.
While technology for monitors and other rig equipment does need upgrading eventually, it's nowhere near as frequent.
When will xCloud be released?
This is sadly where the details are scant.
There is a strong rumour that a public preview of xCloud on web browser is coming in Spring this year.
Just like xCloud on mobile, Microsoft is taking its time and allowing as many users as possible to test the service before it becomes generally available.
If you want more info about xCloud, check out this trailer from Xbox: