Microsoft Is Testing 1080p xCloud Streams, Up From 720p
New images suggest that Microsoft is now testing better-quality game streams from its cloud service.
Microsoft's xCloud game-streaming service might soon look a little crisper. WindowsCentral is reporting that Microsoft is now testing 1080p streams, an increase from the current 720p cap.
A source sent the site documentation from the "Xbox streaming test tools for developers" that shows a new resolution of up to 1080p. This would bring xCloud in line with Stadia and others.
This is all reportedly made possible because Microsoft is said to be upgrading its xCloud server blades from Xbox One S consoles to Xbox Series X, providing a boost to performance.
As WindowsCentral lays out, the xCloud service currently has a cap of 720p for streaming, which is not ideal for all games. You can see the difference in picture quality here at WindowsCentral from their original reporting on the news.
xCloud allows you to stream high-end games to your phone or presumably a variety of other internet-connected devices.The games themselves run from datacenters that Microsoft operates around the world. In this 2019 video, Xbox streaming boss Kareem Choudhry showed off the actual guts of the server rack that powers xCloud games. The core innards of eight Xbox One S consoles are fit into a 2U rack unit that was specifically designed for a datacenter. With the shift to Xbox Series X architecture, it seems that will be changing.
Xcloud is included with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, further enhancing the offering. The service is available on Android and soon via iOS and web browsers.
While Microsoft does not foresee a near future where streaming overtakes console or PC gaming, the company does believe it can complement those experiences and help Microsoft reach an even wider audience of people. Microsoft's plan is to get xCloud on "every screen," and another part of this strategy might be releasing a streaming stick that you can plug directly into your TV to play Xbox games.