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Microsoft xCloud Game Streaming - now powered by Series X


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Y:LAD was running on X for me.  Dirt 5 wasn't.  I think it might just be pretty random at the moment and they'll announce it when there's more X hardware in the datacentres.

 

Noticed with Y:LAD that image quality was much better in high res mode, even though I'm only streaming at 1080p. I think the games lowest res is 1440p, so it was a little odd to see it look blurrier.   It was really obvious on the menu button prompts.  

 

They maybe need to do more work on their video encoding?

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7 minutes ago, tobert said:

Is xcloud now streaming at 1080p regardless of whether its running on a S or X?

 

Should have clarified I'm on a 1080p monitor so it can't be exceeding 1080p.  I'm not sure what it's actually streaming at, other than there being a noticeable difference in crispness between the two modes in Yakuza.

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2 hours ago, Paulando said:


Interested to hear an answer on this. It’s the major problem with the service: why would I start a game on this when it could be removed a month or two down the line, or removed before I’m finished with it? Especially if I’m going streaming-only, and buying them separately isn’t an option.

You wouldn’t, today, during the beta.

 You can play on Stadia or  locally, because the cost of a game or console, relative to the choice, is not important to you.

 

in the longer term, someone will have to sort cloud rights out for purchases.

 

but I struggle to see it as a major problem today (compared to Nvidia falling out with all the publishers, or having to trust Google to keep a platform running) - it’s just not part of the offer at the moment for something with a very small cost of entry assuming you have a phone, iPad or computer.

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I'm impressed at how well this runs on my laptop via a 2.4ghz wifi connection, considering that the GamePass streaming app on my phone on the same connection is an unusable slideshow.

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Really good to see this coming together after years of failed attempts by companies to get online game streaming into the mainstream. We seem to be genuinely reaching the 'Netflix of games' goal where a Smart TV can install an app that allows people to play without any other equipment (besides a controller and any necessary adapters for it). Reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing and distribution of consoles is also a fantastic benefit.

 

At a time when the current gen Xbox console requires a £250-£450 purchase, and the PS5 is £360-£450, with neither including software or online gaming, a subscription of £11 per month plus the cost of a controller to essentially play the same games is a really great proposition. Particularly given the assumption that this will be future-proofed. No RROD, no cost for a mid-gen upgrade, and no need to purchase a new console in five years when we get to a new gen.

 

If Microsoft can get this on the shelves for Christmas at a competitive price (such as £50 for the base pack of a controller plus stick, or £150 with a year of GPU bundled) then it could have a huge impact on the market. Console gaming without the cost of the console.

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Tried Outriders very briefly at lunch and it was definitely improved, though the sensitivity of turning and aiming needs toning down so I'll need to play with the settings, but it is no longer a blotchy mess. Impressive stuff. 

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Has anyone had any luck pairing their series controller with a Mac?

 

I've had it work once (this might even have been before they were officially supported) but never again.  I tried again just now and turning on the pad with the pairing button got the pad to appear in macOS, I hit the connect button and it sat thinking for a bit before the pad disappeared from the list and now no amount of turning the pad off and on again will get it to show up again. :(

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Gave it a quick go on my Samsung Galaxy phone with Touryst because that supported touch. Was very snappy and sharp. Running around, jumping, swinging camera around - it all felt as if I was playing local on a handheld.

 

This bodes well for the eventual arrival of a TV app and X-dongle. I was seriously considering getting an S for the living room (have a Series X in ye olde man cave) but if I only need to install an app, that's even better!

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59 minutes ago, Gabe said:

Tried Outriders very briefly at lunch and it was definitely improved, though the sensitivity of turning and aiming needs toning down so I'll need to play with the settings, but it is no longer a blotchy mess. Impressive stuff. 

 

Yeah for some reason it defaults to having horizontal and vertical aiming on the highest sensitivity. 

 

I turned it down to half that and it was perfect.

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I seemed to have to turn off all other demands on the internet to avoid input lag. Before then, I was overcorrecting camera direction massively. After... it's still not quite there for me but playable now. This was on Y:LAD that everyone seems to be having a good time with here. 

 

Picture seemed fine before and after though. I wonder if there is some slight buffering. There shouldn't be any! I get better response playing a game on my remote work machine as I've switched buffering off. 

 

Fast internet, Wifi 6 network, ping of 15ms (could be better, Virgin!) should be enough, right?

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Looking around and it still seems to be invite only. But I think everyone on GPU should have one? You don't have an email about it? 

 

 

EDIT: hmm. Invite was basically just a link to  Xbox.com/Play and it should just work

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I just activated a £1 for 3 months trial on an account I used in March to do the same thing.
 

I’m not complaining, but I thought you could only do that deal once. 

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5 hours ago, AK Bell said:

Looking around and it still seems to be invite only. But I think everyone on GPU should have one? You don't have an email about it? 

 

 

EDIT: hmm. Invite was basically just a link to  Xbox.com/Play and it should just work

Thanks, I sign in but it knows that I’ve not had an invite. I fell like I’m the only Xbox owner who hasn’t had one!

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On 23/06/2021 at 15:33, Pob said:

Thanks, I sign in but it knows that I’ve not had an invite. I fell like I’m the only Xbox owner who hasn’t had one!

 

Try now!

 

 

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If you get in and have an original Xbox, it’s a great advert to upgrade for faster loading times. FH4 was almost playable. Doom Eternal predictably wasn’t.

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This works pretty well on a technical level for me, I'm impressed.

 

For some reason though I thought when a game had been upgraded to use Touch controls, it would be bespoke to the game but instead it just looks like a massive virtual d-pad and buttons slapped right over the screen obscuring all the action. I tried playing Slay the Spire and it was just impossible to play on my phone, I can't imagine even trying to play something more action-packed.

 

I assume anyone actually using this to play on mobile devices is syncing up a controller and playing it that way? Or are there some customisation options that I've missed? I do have a pretty small phone by today's standards so maybe it's just the hardware I'm trying to use it on.

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I tried this earlier on my iPad sat next to my router and it’s utterly unplayable, just massive visual lag and audio stuttering. I’m sure it’s connected at 5ghz but it just basically doesn’t work on my setup seemingly which is a shame. Will probably give it a go wiring in my laptop later. I’m on BT and a speed test says I get 50/19 with a ping of 8ms, which should be fine so probably just issues with my wireless connection.

 

I tried Minecraft dungeons as that has touch controls, and as above I found it did obscure the screen a lot, and that’s on a large screen.

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33 minutes ago, Garwoofoo said:

This works pretty well on a technical level for me, I'm impressed.

 

For some reason though I thought when a game had been upgraded to use Touch controls, it would be bespoke to the game but instead it just looks like a massive virtual d-pad and buttons slapped right over the screen obscuring all the action. I tried playing Slay the Spire and it was just impossible to play on my phone, I can't imagine even trying to play something more action-packed.

 

I assume anyone actually using this to play on mobile devices is syncing up a controller and playing it that way? Or are there some customisation options that I've missed? I do have a pretty small phone by today's standards so maybe it's just the hardware I'm trying to use it on.

 

I'm using a Razer Kishi, but I did try the on screen controls for Yakuza LAD yesterday. They did obscure some of the screen, but it wasn't just a D-pad and buttons. Once the game started they were replaced with contextual icons, and certain buttons were removed if not relevant. I thought they were pretty decent for what they were, but I'd certainly recommend a pad of some kind if at all possible.

 

Speaking of LAD, when I tried it yesterday it was indeed running on Series X hardware and it made a massive difference. The xCloud spaceship launch screen was over in seconds, loading times were just like they are on my PC, the framerate was much better and the controls felt a lot more responsive too. Most of all, the sound was sorted out! :D

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Just tried Streets of Rage 4 on my Mac over Ethernet and it looked good and was playable, but with clear input latency. It reminded me of when I forgot to turn Game Mode on on my TV. I think I was on a XB1S because it took a while to load the level.

 

But I did get the Fallout New Vegas weekly MS reward without having to install the game, which I think will be my main use case for this!

 

Tried with my iPhone last night and it was totally unplayable, plus it wouldn't pick up my Xbox controller even though it was paired.

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