Microsoft announced today that tomorrow the company will be able to stream 150+ games through its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription service. Formerly known as xCloud, the game streaming feature will launch on September 15th for Android tablets and phones.
xCloud is bundled as a game streaming feature in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Microsoft is starting an update tomorrow for the Xbox Game Pass app on Android in 22 countries including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.
Microsoft is also working on improving xCloud with touch controls for games. The first title to launch with touch controls is Minecraft Dungeons, including support for precisely controlling the size of the controls on the screen.
Microsoft has demonstrated earlier Gears 5 Touch controls and xCloud testers had touch controls for access Hellblade: Senua’s victim for about a month. Expect a lot more games to get these touch controls in the coming months.
Unfortunately, xCloud is not initially available on iPhones or iPads, as Apple previously blocked services like xCloud. Apple expanded an olive branch to Microsoft last week, allowing game streaming services like xCloud or Stadia to exist on iOS or iPadOS with a big catch. Apple wants companies like Microsoft to submit their games individually as separate apps using their streaming technology.
Microsoft wasn’t happy with this requirement, but it’s not clear if the company might package some games and stream them on iPhone or iPad devices. Microsoft called Apple’s move “a bad experience for customers” and found that when streaming movie or song apps, individual content does not have to be packed into separate apps.
Update, Sept. 14, 9:15 a.m. ET: Updated article with details on xCloud Touch controls.