With xCloud on PC and iOS, cloud gaming’s next big moment has arrived

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

On Monday, Microsoft finally delivered two long-in-the-works updates for its Xbox Cloud Gaming Service (xCloud) that could mark a sea change for the future of cloud gaming.

One is that xCloud games are now powered by custom Xbox Series X hardware, a major upgrade from the Xbox One S consoles that have powered the service since its launch in September. This means xCloud now has faster load times, less latency, and higher-resolution 1080p streaming. But perhaps more importantly, xCloud is expanding from Android to iOS and PC via the web for anyone in 22 countries with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

Taken together, the two updates mean that nearly anyone who has access to the service can play some of the biggest games on Xbox,…

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