Australia will enter the xCloud Preview Program from 18 November, allowing registered users the chance to stream a select number of Xbox titles to Android devices.
Australia will be added to the cloud streaming trial alongside Japan, Brazil and Mexico from that day, though participants will need to register to take part to do so. If you’re keen to try it out, you can register for the experience here.
While Microsoft hasn’t detailed the exact amount of spots available in the preview program, Project xCloud GM, Catherine Gluckstein, told Stevivor everyone will (eventually) be accomodated.
“Sign up is free for everybody to to sign up for, and as they sign up we will send invites out on a staggered basis,” Gluckstein explained. “As this is our preview and we are testing and learning what we look to do is to sort of ramp up.
“What we have found in other markets is that everybody who wanted to come in and play, has got in to play. They don’t necessarily all get in on day one, but they will most likely get in and play.”
The selection of games differs between the four new regions — and obviously doesn’t compare to the 170+ games on offer to regions in the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Cloud Streaming program — but it’s certainly a welcome start. Here’s what to expect:
- ARK: Survival Evolved (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Batman: Arkham Knight (AU, BR, MX)
- Black Desert (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Code Vein (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Cricket 19 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- DayZ (AU)
- Dead by Daylight: Special Edition (AU, BR, MX)
- Destiny 2 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Devil May Cry 5 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- eFootball PES 2020 (AU, BR, MX)
- F1 2019 (AU, BR, MX)
- Forza Horizon 4 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Gears 5 (AU, BR, MX)
- Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger Ix (JP)
- Halo Wars 2: Standard Edition (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (AU, BR, MX)
- Hitman (AU, BR, MX)
- Just Cause 4 (AU, BR, MX)
- Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition (JP)
- Minecraft Dungeons – Windows 10 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae (JP)
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- PUBG (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- ReCore (JP)
- Resident Evil 7 biohazard (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Sea of Thieves (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider (AU, BR, MX)
- Sid Meier’s Civilization VI (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Skyforge (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Smite (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Stellaris: Console Edition (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Tekken 7 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- WWE 2K20 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
- Yakuza 0 (AU, BR, MX, JP)
Games that support touch controls as per the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Cloud Streaming will also offer the functionality inside the xCloud preview, meaning players can use their Android device’s touchscreen rather than a connected Bluetooth-enabled controller for games like Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice and Killer Instinct.
Unlike previews that rolled out in the USA and the UK — where Microsoft partnered with a specific telecommunications carrier to assist in the preview — Australia will be open to all, leveraging what Microsoft has learned from previews that have already occured.
“We have multiple data center regions in Australia today, and every single one of them comes with a collaboration with all the local network operators,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Cloud Gaming, Kareem Choudhry, explained. “So all that work [has] already been done, so [Microsoft isn’t the one] laying fiber and doing all kinds of stuff.
“In some markets of the world, we have chosen to partner with a specific mobile operator or telco; in Australia, we haven’t. We actually feel pretty good about the connections and the landscapes. That’s not to say there won’t be partnerships in the future.”
“For the public preview of xCloud right now we don’t have a specific partnerships,” Choudhry continued. “Obviously it’s going to be a service in an offering that’s going to be available to everyone, regardless of their mobile operator or internet service provider.”
Choudhry also confirmed that xCloud has been internal testing within Microsoft Australia for “quite some time” and that “customer demand” from “a fairly sizeable Xbox fan base” within the country was a deciding factor as to Australia’s inclusion in the preview program.
We’re a bit ahead of the curve on this one, as Xbox head Phil Spencer said he expected Australia to be added to the xCloud program in 2021.