Australians are always saying how our internet isn’t good enough to support things like, say, Xbox’s Project xCloud game streaming service. But from next week, we’ll be able to finally see whether that’s the case.
In embargoed briefings last week, Microsoft revealed to journalists that the beta version of their Xbox Game Pass cloud streaming service — dubbed Project xCloud — would be going live in Australia from November 18. Japan, Mexico and Brazil will also be joining the xCloud beta at that time.
In a Q&A session, Microsoft’s Kareem Choudhry and Catherine Gluckstein explained that the beta would allow Microsoft to gather more data about the Australian cloud streaming experience. When asked whether it would be largely isolated to the Eastern states — given their proximity to the Microsoft Azure data centres, which are essential to xCloud’s performance, the executives replied that the beta would be accessible to all Australians.
What Games Can I Play/Stream Through Project XCloud / Game Pass Streaming In Australia?
An interesting element of the xCloud beta is how certain games get added at different points. In information provided by Microsoft prior to release, the company also revealed what games would be accessible in the territories being added to the xCloud beta.
Australia, for instance, will be the only one of the four new regions to gain access to DayZ. Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger Ix is available only in Japan, while games like Black Desert and ARK: Survival Evolved will be available across all of the four territories added.
The full list of games being made available to Australia — and other xCloud regions — is below:
- ARK: Survival Evolved (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Batman™: Arkham Knight (AU, BR, MX)
- Black Desert (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- CODE VEIN (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Cricket 19 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- DayZ (AU)
- Dead by Daylight: Special Edition (AU, BR, MX)
- Destiny 2 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Devil May Cry 5 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- eFootball PES 2020 (AU, BR, MX)
- F1® 2019 (AU, BR, MX)
- Forza Horizon 4 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Gears 5 (AU, BR, MX)
- Halo Wars 2: Standard Edition (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (AU, BR, MX)
- HITMAN™ (AU, BR, MX)
- Just Cause 4 (AU, BR, MX)
- Minecraft Dungeons – Windows 10 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- RESIDENT EVIL 7 biohazard (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Sea of Thieves (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider (AU, BR, MX)
- Sid Meier’s Civilization VI (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Skyforge (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Smite (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Stellaris: Console Edition (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Tekken 7 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- WWE 2K20 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Yakuza 0 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
I, for one, am very excited to be able to play Cricket 19 on my phone. Because it’s not like I don’t have enough places to play that game already. But something like Stellaris on the phone could be super interesting — how’s the UI hold up? F1 2019 could be great. Playing through something like Yakuza 0 in bed without the disruption of the TV on could also be a great way to work through all of its content.
And given the problems Microsoft has had with Apple this year, it’s no surprise that the beta will be on Android only. Anyone wishing to give the beta a go will need to register via this link. You’ll also need the Xbox Game Streaming Preview app, which you can grab from the Google Play store here.
There are some notable games that Australians will miss out on initially, including ReCore and Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition. But it’s a pretty good list, and a solid mix of genres to start with. I’m also curious to see if the experience in Australia — with or without 5G — has gotten any significant improvements from what our US colleagues enjoyed. I’m especially keen to see if there’s any massive disruption in the bitrate and consistency of the graphics, although obviously everyone’s individual connection will vary.