Microsoft’s Project xCloud offers a future where you can stream all your favourite Xbox games without actually having to own an Xbox console. In fact, all you need are your basic home appliances.
The first wave of xCloud functionality is already out there, and people are starting to get creative. Like the person who managed to stream Doom: Eternal on their Samsung smart fridge. That’s right, xCloud came to fridges even before it came to iOS.
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For those not in the know, Apple has so far refused to let any company add their cloud streaming service to the App Store — with Microsoft’s xCloud and Google’s Stadia being the most high-profile casualties of this. Android has no such issue, and you can already download a preview version of the Xbox streaming app from Google Play (opens in new tab).
While Microsoft is promising a resolution to the Apple debacle, one person has already managed to get xCloud streaming running on their fridge. Because we live in a time where a fridge can play Xbox games, but your iPhone can’t, which is kind of nuts.
That’s Instagram user Richard Mallard playing Doom Eternal on the fridge, because it’s long-standing tradition that Doom should be played on the most bizarre devices possible. It may not be the original, but Doom Eternal is still Doom.
Naturally the process isn’t going to warrant major hacks to your fridge, since Samsung Smart Fridges do run on a version of Android. So provided you have the right APK and a way to sideload apps, you too could have xCloud in your kitchen. Albeit not making particularly efficient use of the Samsung fridge’s display — on account of it being in portrait while xCloud games run in landscape.
You probably don’t need to play Xbox games on your fridge, not when you have a phone that can run the games a bit more conveniently, it’s still amusing to see it happen before the service has a proper launch on iPhones and iPads.
The issue is that Apple doesn’t approve of the way gaming streaming services offer large numbers of games that Apple can’t individually review. There are also issues that prohibit games from being streamed from the cloud, as opposed to games that are streamed from a local device — as was the way with Steam Link, PS4 Remote Play, and other remote desktop apps.
Microsoft has promised to get around this issue with a Safari web app for iPhone and iPad users, while Apple tweaked its rules to offer a hugely inefficient system of having to download a new app for each cloud game a player would want to access. In the meantime, if you want to try Xbox game streaming for yourself on your Android phone (or smart fridge), you can subscribe to Microsoft's $15 per month Xbox Game Pass tier.