Microsoft is bringing its Project xCloud game streaming service to millions more across western Europe. Today, the company announced a rollout to 11 more countries, with the COVID-19 pandemic a cautious motivator.
“It has been said too many times, but it's true we are living in unprecedented times due to the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said Catherine Glukstein, GM & head of product at xCloud. “Here at Xbox, we look to our products to bring joy and connection at all times and particularly during these weeks and months when we're asked to stay at home. We know we're in this together and the support we can provide one another is of critical importance now more than ever.”
According to the executive, Microsoft wants to help people stay indoors, but it's also looking at the impact a large rollout would have on its various services. As such, the rollout will happen as soon as it's “confident it is sensible to do so”.
This means the volume of those invited to the preview in the new countries is likely to be small at first. There will then be a slow scale up to control capacity and demand. With that said, here are the countries that will soon be available for xCloud use:
My previous testing suggests that those who signed up and were accepted into the preview in another country (such as the UK) have been able to play in western Europe for a little while. However, the official rollout should lead to a more stable experience and much wider availability.
For now, though, xCloud remains Android exclusive. Microsoft does plan to release it on PC sometime this year, and screenshots/placeholders of that client have even been spotted in the wild. A natural release point would be its virtual E3 2020 conference, but there could easily be delays due to the current situation.