Xbox Cloud Gaming beta begins arriving on Xbox consoles: Who can play

Slowly but surely, Microsoft has been building out its Xbox Cloud Gaming service. First, cloud gaming was exclusively available in beta on Android phones. Eventually, Xbox Cloud Gaming made its way to iOS and Windows desktops via a browser-based solution, and now the service is testing on the Xbox desktop app. Today we're adding more platforms to the pile, as Microsoft has launched a beta for Xbox Cloud Gaming on Xbox consoles.

If you've been around for Microsoft's beta tests in the past, then you know that at this initial stage, testing is limited to a select few who can play. Specifically, Microsoft is sending the Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) live for a random selection of Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha rings.

That's right, not even everyone in the Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha rings is getting this beta today, so that should make it clear how limited this test is for now. However, Microsoft says that it will be selecting more Insiders and expanding the test to additional rings as time goes on, so if you're an Xbox Insider, be sure to keep an eye out for that.

Xbox Cloud Gaming is included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions, and it allows you to stream many of the titles available on Xbox Game Pass through the cloud. While it might seem silly to launch cloud gaming on consoles designed to play these games, playing through the cloud does mean that installs become a thing of the past, as do any concerns about limited storage space.

If you've been selected to participate in the beta, head to the Xbox Game Pass app on your console and look for the games that have the cloud icon. You can also check Xbox Wire for a list of known issues before you jump in, and we'll let you know when Microsoft expands this test to more players.