Xbox preview brings big updates to Twitch streaming and cloud gaming

Microsoft has launched a new Xbox Preview, and it's a big one. For starters, the new preview going live today adds Twitch integration to the Xbox dashboard. While users have always been able to stream using the Twitch Xbox app, it's been a while since they were last able to start up a Twitch stream through the dashboard itself. The preview also brings cloud streaming functionality to Xbox One, giving Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers the chance to play Xbox Series X/S games without upgrading their hardware.

The update notes for the new preview say that Twitch streaming from the dashboard is available to Alpha Skip-Ahead users, so only those in the highest echelon of the Xbox Insider program will get to take this feature for a spin. With the preview installed, Microsoft says that you'll be able to start livestreaming to Twitch by heading to the "Capture and Share" tab and selecting "Live Streaming."

You'll need to link your Twitch account to your console, and if you haven't already, you'll be prompted to link it then. After you've linked your account, all you need to do is select the "Go live now" button to begin streaming to Twitch. Microsoft says that this method of streaming will only show gameplay, so it's safe to switch to other apps without worrying about showing them on screen as viewers will only see a pause screen.

In addition to Twitch streaming from the dashboard, this preview allows Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers to play Xbox Series X/S games on Xbox One through cloud gaming. This is a big addition since it means that those who can't find an Xbox Series X don't necessarily need to miss out on next-gen games while they wait for stock to become available. Of course, users tapping into cloud gaming will be limited to the games on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, but considering that includes Microsoft's first-party games, this functionality is better than nothing.

Sadly, there's no indication of when these features might roll out to the broader Xbox community. Since they're just now hitting the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring, we've probably got a few months of testing to get through before they're ready for prime time.