Microsoft will allow Xbox players to access their games purchased from the Xbox Store in Cloud Gaming, regardless of the Xbox Game Pass catalog.
Microsoft’s cloud gaming service was born as Project xCloud and then was integrated into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate without being named, before finally being distinguished as Xbox Cloud Gaming. These are already enough steps to generate a lot of confusion among players about the name of the different services. The next Xbox Game Pass expansion isn’t going to fix things.
Microsoft reiterated a promise written in 2019 on its official blog on the sidelines of its X019 conference: the firm will allow players to access their games purchased in cloud gaming.
Xbox Cloud Gaming expands beyond the Xbox Game Pass catalog
During his eventWhat’s Next for Gaming» 2022 edition, a few days before its Xbox Bethesda conference dedicated to video games, Microsoft has delivered its plans to further expand its cloud gaming. Today, Xbox Cloud Gaming is limited to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate catalog of games and access to Fortnite without a subscription.
Microsoft promises Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will be able to access games they purchased from the Xbox Store, outside of the Game Pass catalog. Let’s try to clarify things. With this announcement, Microsoft wants to allow buyers of dematerialized games to play them without Xbox consoles, simply in cloud gaming. However, access to the cloud gaming service has a cost for Microsoft between server infrastructure and bandwidth. This cost, Microsoft integrates it into the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
So it’s kind of a new benefit for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. Microsoft promises that this will be available in 2022, later in the year. This is reminiscent of the principle of GeForce Now which allows streaming access to its games purchased on Steam, Epic Games or GOG.
Which catalog of compatible games?
Please note that not all games from the Xbox Store will be available to be played in cloud gaming. In its announcement, Microsoft specifies that a “selectionof games will be compatible without giving details. We can imagine that all the games that have passed through the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cloud gaming catalog will be entitled to it. If we dig a little deeper, it is probably for Microsoft to allow players who like a Game Pass game about to leave the catalog to be able to continue the experience by buying the game. It is possible on PC and Xbox console, but until now this was not the case for cloud gamers.
With the arrival of the service on more screens and in particular on Samsung televisions, more and more players will be affected by this scenario. In the future, Microsoft will therefore have to correctly distinguish between games “Xbox Cloud Gaming compatible“and the games”integrated into the Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming catalog“. Hopefully the firm will also develop a cheaper subscription to access cloud gaming servers without being an Xbox Game Pass subscriber.
It also means that the Xbox Store will no longer be limited to just Xbox consoles. It will then be a store of dematerialized games targeting all types of screens.
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