When will you be able to play your own Xbox games via the cloud? ‘This year’ says Xbox lead Phil Spencer.

What you need to know

  • Xbox has a cloud gaming service, attached to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. 
  • Using Xbox Cloud Gaming, you can play a selection of a few hundred Xbox games on any supported device, without an Xbox console attached. 
  • For a long time, Microsoft has stated that it wants to bring games you actually own into the service as well, pending negotiations with license holders. 
  • A chat between Xbox lead Phil Spencer and an Xbox user named NASburg (that we have verified to be real) suggests that Microsoft is expecting “this year” to launch the new cloud feature. 

Xbox Cloud Gaming is a great service from Microsoft that gives you hundreds of games to play via the web, Windows PCs, Android devices, and some modern TVs (such as those offered by Samsung post-2021). For $15 per month as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can choose between a truly huge amount of games to play on remote hardware, bypassing the need to have an Xbox console or powerful gaming PC to experience them. All of Microsoft’s first-party titles are in there, including Halo, Gears of War, Forza, Flight Simulator, and so on, and the selection of games from third-party developers is also incredibly impressive. 

Xbox Cloud Gaming has grown steadily in recent years, and we’ve seen absolutely enormous queue times when certain games go viral into the service, such as January’s Palworld. Microsoft is doubtless working to respond to the demand by boosting server capacity, and they may have their work cut out to meet that demand later this year if the latest news pans out as expected. 

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