Back in December, Tom’s Guide reported that Xbox Game Pass would bring cloud gaming to Web browsers and iOS devices in 2021. The time has finally come — albeit not for everyone, just yet. Xbox Cloud Gaming will come to non-gaming PCs and Apple mobile devices starting tomorrow (April 20), featuring more than 100 playable games. But since the feature is in limited beta, only existing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers get to try it out. And if you don’t have an invitation yet, there’s no way to guarantee one in the future.
Information comes from Catherine Gluckstein, head of product for Project xCloud, writing on the official Xbox Wire blog. The post’s title, “Xbox Cloud Gaming for Windows 10 PC and Apple Phones and Tablets Begin as Limited Beta for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Members,” just about says it all. Starting tomorrow, Xbox Cloud Gaming will enter a limited beta on Windows 10 Web browsers and iOS devices, open to select Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. The service has been available on Android phones and tablets for quite some time, and is generally a smooth experience.
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For the lucky fans who get an invite (check the e-mail address associated with your Xbox account), simply visit xbox.com/play, and follow the instructions onscreen. If you didn’t get an invite, the site simply states that you won’t be able to play yet.
“Offering cloud gaming through the browser and having a simplified, universal landing page presents a great opportunity to make cloud gaming approachable to more players in more places over time,” Gluckstein writes. The beta will be available to residents of all 22 countries in which Xbox Cloud Gaming is on offer.
If you do get an invite, all you’ll need is a strong Internet connection and a PC-compatible controller. Microsoft recommends a minimum download speed of 10 Mbps for cloud gaming on Android, so expect the PC/iOS requirements to be pretty similar. Furthermore, while any USB or Bluetooth controller should work with Xbox Cloud Gaming, a regular old Xbox controller is probably your safest bet.
It’s worth noting that once Xbox Cloud Gaming comes to PCs, PC gamers will have two distinct ways of accessing Xbox games. One way will be by downloading games directly to their PCs; the other will be by streaming games through Web browsers. Naturally, players with gaming rigs will probably opt for the former, while players with lightweight laptops will probably appreciate the latter.
In the meantime, Tom’s Guide hasn’t yet received an invitation to test Xbox Cloud Gaming on PC/iOS, but if we do, we’ll share what we can about our experiences. Xbox Cloud Gaming on Android has been a solid experience so far, so hopefully the PC and iOS versions will follow suit.
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Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.