Advertisements
Hands-on Xbox Game Streaming: turn your Xbox into a game streaming server

Microsoft now allows Xbox One testers to stream all games from their console to an Android phone or tablet. It is part of a new Xbox game streaming feature that should be coming to all Xbox One consoles soon. While this sounds like Project xCloud, Microsoft & # 39; s preview of cloud-based game streaming, it is a separate option designed to turn your own Xbox One console into a streaming server.

Advertisements

Microsoft has offered a similar feature for streaming Xbox games to Windows 10 PCs, but this is now being extended to Android phones. I tested Xbox Game Streaming today and it feels like an early look at the future of Microsoft's xCloud service.

Just like xCloud, Game Streaming uses the same Android app to access your Xbox One console. It is limited to Android and Microsoft has not yet revealed any plans for iOS devices. Installation is a piece of cake for Xbox Game Streaming and it is simply about enabling a new setting on your Xbox One console and testing your network to ensure that it is ready to stream games. I did not experience any problems during the installation, but Microsoft recommends the following:

  • An open or moderate NAT type
  • Upload bandwidth of at least 4.75 Mbps (preferably 9 Mbps)
  • Network latency of 125 ms or less required (60 ms or less preferred)
  • The Xbox One console must be turned on directly in the power options

Once the Xbox One console is ready, download the Xbox Game Streaming app and log in with your Microsoft account. You must pair an Xbox One controller with your Android phone or tablet and it is ready to connect. If you stream locally at home, it is best to use a 5 GHz WiFi connection back to your console, as this maximizes connectivity and reduces interference.



Unlike xCloud, this game streaming feature gives you access to your entire console and all games. I could stream games like that Fortnite, Destination 2, Cuphead, and more. Every game should work via this streaming method, and you are not limited to the four games that Microsoft initially made available during the Project xCloud preview.

Because this takes control of your home Xbox, you can start it remotely from home. The Xbox starts up without sound or the front Xbox light and when you disconnect, it is put back into standby after a short period of inactivity.

The real test of every game streaming is the delay. Latency and input lag was a mixed bag during my testing. Strangely enough, I saw more input delay when using the Game Streaming function than Project xCloud. That may be due to the variety of games that I have been able to test, but it also indicates that this feature is beta and Microsoft is still working on optimizing the experience.

Advertisements

I also noticed a number of issues when trying to resume the app after turning on Android or even turning on my Xbox remotely. I suspect this is more early beta-hiccups than anything else, but it shows that this game streaming feature needs some work before it's ready for everyone.

Although Microsoft has not committed to a launch date or price for Project xCloud, it appears that the Xbox Game Streaming feature will be released very soon. It will probably be the way most Xbox owners experience gaming streaming on their phones in the near future, and I think it's a convenient way to resume games on the go.

You won't want to use this for competitive PvP games or fast shooters, but for single-player titles or a slightly slower pace, it works well on the go. One thing you should consider is bandwidth. I noticed through my WiFi home network that the streaming uses around 800 MB of data per hour. I have not yet tested this via a 3G or LTE connection, but data limits are likely to force most people to use WiFi here.

This year Sony has introduced a similar PS4 Remote Play feature for both iOS and all Android phones that works in the same way as Xbox Game Streaming to play games remotely on a home console. What Xbox Game Streaming shows is how useful this feature will be once Project xCloud is available. You don't even need an Xbox to play Xbox games in the future. Even if you do, Project xCloud is probably the best way to play away from your home console.