Microsoft made a couple of big announcements regarding Xbox Game Pass Ultimate’s cloud streaming service today. For starters, Xbox Cloud Streaming is rolling out to a much larger group of subscribers beginning today. While that’s big enough news on its own, Microsoft also discussed a big upgrade it’s making to its cloud streaming datacenters.
Specifically, Microsoft announced today that Xbox Cloud Streaming is available to all Ultimate members today on Windows 10 PCs and Apple devices. The device you have ultimately doesn’t matter, as you’ll be accessing Microsoft’s cloud gaming library through your browser. All you need to do is go to xbox.com/play in Edge, Chrome, or Safari and start playing (after you log into an account with an active Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, that is).
This rollout has been a long time coming, and while streaming through a mobile browser might seem less preferable to playing through an app, this was the best way for Microsoft to get Xbox Cloud Streaming on iPhone thanks to some rather strict rules Apple has put in place on the iOS App Store. Microsoft has been indicating for a long time that it intended to deliver browser-based streaming on iOS, and now after some beta testing, the finished product is finally here.
On top of this announcement, Microsoft also revealed today that it is upgrading its Xbox Cloud Streaming datacenters with Xbox Series X consoles. “We’ve been upgrading Microsoft datacenters around the globe with the fastest, most powerful Xbox hardware to give you faster load times, improved frame rates, and an experience of a new generation of gaming,” Microsoft said in a post to Xbox Wire today.
Does that mean we’ll be streaming games in 4K? Not so fast – Microsoft also said that in order to “ensure the lowest latency, highest quality experience across the broadest set of devices,” Xbox Cloud Streaming will be limited to a max resolution of 1080p and framerates up to 60 frames per second. There’s nothing wrong with 1080p60 gaming, but it sounds like if you want to game in 4K, you’ll need to go pick up an Xbox Series X yourself.