Back in the days of the console wars, I was firmly on the side of PlayStation. After all, Xbox went through a phase where it tried to be a “meh” global entertainment system, *cough* Xbox One *cough*, rather than a good gaming system.
However, for me, console wars are definitely a thing of the past. After switching to a gaming PC, I really don’t see the need to spend a small fortune on a single system.
That being said, if I had to weigh in on the current winners of said imaginary war, I’d say it’s Xbox. They’ve made strides in consumer-friendly choices, from backwards compatibility to the incredible value proposition of Xbox Game Pass.
On that note, I had the opportunity to not only access the game pass, but also its shiny new feature, Xbox Cloud Gaming. In this review, we’ll dig deeper into what Xbox Cloud Gaming is, how it works, and, well, if it works.
To begin, I will explain how the service was described to me; then we’ll move on to exploring its library of games and the quality of those games. With Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta), gamers can access titles directly from the cloud with a Game Pass Ultimate membership.
These games can then be streamed to iOS devices, Android phones and tablets, Windows PCs, Xbox Series X and Xbox One consoles, and select smart TVs.
Yes, but how many games can I play?
There are currently over 300 titles available to play with the Cloud Gaming beta, and oh boy, some of them are real bangers! You’ve got everything from classic gems like Fable 2 to sparkling new titles like Forza Horizon 5.
The list of titles is really quite amazing and to some extent overwhelming, although they have tried hard to make the UI navigable and digestible.
Here is a list of some of my personal recommendations that you can grab and read without having to install a single file.
Compulsory reading catalog:
- Batman Arkham Series
- story 2
- Mass Effect Series
These are just my personal choices; you can browse the entire catalog on the Xbox Cloud Gaming website.
Yes, but does it work?
The answer here is simple, how much bandwidth do you have? Because the reality here is that you will need a download speed of 6MB (no mibs) minimum, but to play in high fidelity you will need at least 15 MBS.
So if you’re connected directly to superfast fiber you’ll be golden as you can be but if you’re using VDSL or 4G or something slower than fiber or 5G then this service probably isn’t for you. .
Now, in my experience, even when connected to super-fast fiber with download speeds over 28MB, I still experienced screen tearing and lag with higher fidelity titles like Forza 5.
The service is still in beta, so hopefully these titles will be removed if they don’t perform well or that Xbox will alleviate the issues with the streaming process.
I also tested how well the games performed at 4MB download speeds, and the short answer is that they did, but it would be doing game developers a disservice to play their games like that.
Overall, I think the Xbox Game Pass is a great value proposition. When playing cloud gaming, this proposition improves.
If you have the bandwidth to handle the streaming of these games, there’s a huge catalog of adventures to be had. However, if your internet isn’t up to the task, steer clear or prepare for a world of pixelated blobs from 1991.