Deep in a blog post summing up Sunday’s Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase at E3, Microsoft casually mentioned it plans on bringing next-gen Xbox games to Xbox One consoles via Xbox Cloud Gaming. Great news, if you’ve been struggling to find a new Xbox Series S or Series X.
Xbox Cloud Gaming, formerly known as Project xCloud, is Microsoft’s answer to services like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, and Nvidia’s GeForce Now. The service launched last September and is mostly aimed at gaming on your phone or a browser.
“For the millions of people who play on Xbox One consoles today, we are looking forward to sharing more about how we will bring many of these next-gen games, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, to your console through Xbox Cloud Gaming, just like we do with mobile devices, tablets, and browsers,” Will Tuttle, Xbox Wire editor-in-chief, wrote in the blog.
While this is a neat way to eke out a bit more life from an Xbox One, it’ll likely be limited to the same constraints that affect all cloud gaming: You’re at the mercy of your internet connection. According to the Verge, Microsoft is upgrading its server blades later this month to better support the Xbox Series X, which should translate to better load times and frame rates.
However, whether you have a good experience will still depend on your individual setup. Some factors, like if you use a wired or wireless connection, are within your control. Others, like network or server issues, are not. When Gizmodo tried xCloud early on in the beta, it was pretty great with the exception of Halo: Reach. (Though later updates seemed to fix that issue). However, this wasn’t the experience for everyone who tested xCloud.
We’ll still have to wait to see how useful this is in the long run. In the short term, first-party games like Forza Horizon 5 and Halo: Infinite are also headed to the Xbox One natively. This xCloud solution will most likely be most useful for, well, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and any third-party titles that don’t come to the Xbox One natively. Still, we like to see companies giving consumers more options, and anything that helps you get more bang for your buck isn’t a bad thing.