Microsoft is reportedly testing 1080p streaming for Xbox Game Pass cloud games


By Dom Peppiatt, Sunday, 28 February 2021 11:04 GMT

Microsoft is testing a higher resolution streaming solution for the Xbox Game Pass streaming service Cloud Gaming, previously known as xCloud, ahead of a larger upgrade to the service later in the year.

According to a new WindowsCentral report, an unnamed (but ‘trusted) game developer source recently shared an image of Hellblade running via xCloud which revealed that the resolution of the streamed game was 1080p – a big improvement from the restricted 720p that’s been available via the service up until now.

Most mobile handsets operate at a resolution of at least 1080p, so in bumping up the resolution you will be able to play in, Xbox may tempt more players to use the Cloud Gaming streaming service and play more Xbox Game Pass titles on their handheld devices.

Games have been limited to 720p for xCloud streaming to help with stability and ensure a smooth connection, but if you’ve used the service you’ve no doubt seen how it can make games run a little blurry and undefined at times.

Microsoft is looking at upgrading the Xbox cloud streaming servers from Xbox One architecture to Xbox Series X architecture in the coming 12 months, with the ultimate aim of getting the xCloud streaming service up and running on both PC and consoles. Making sure the service is capable of uninterrupted 1080p streaming, then, makes sense.

Microsoft no doubt wants to make sure its own Cloud Gaming streaming service is up to the challenge of competing with rival companies that are already offering 1080p game streaming to their customers. Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, GeForce Now, and others already offer this feature.

Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming launched in September in 22 countries with a selection of over 150 games. Our own Alex Donaldson was super impressed with xCloud when he first tried it.

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