Microsoft xCloud Late 2021 Review: Is it playable yet?
However, things seem to change very recently and its become a much much more playable experience. So lets get on with the review and well tell you our thoughts, some of the bad things about it and some of the things that we really really like about microsoft, xcloud, so its pretty hard to argue that microsoft game pass isnt a good value. At the end of the day, if you are a gamer and if you have a pc, obviously an xbox, then its pretty much a no brainer that youre going to want to get this service because it just offers so much in term of value. The cloud gaming bit does become a harder buy if you dont already have that additional hardware. However, its still a really really good proposition compared to something like google, stadium or nvidia geforce now youd seem to get a a lot more bang for your buck, because there are so many games that come across to get x cloud and especially on day one as Well, so a lot of new releases do land on the service theres, also a lot of older games and with microsoft, acquisition of bethesda if youre into the rpg type games, theres a whole host of different games available for you to play. Basically, when you sign up to game pass ultimate, you also get xcloud included and now its not invite only for anybody as well. So if you are using an ios device or an android device, youre going to be able to use the cloud gaming service on any of those devices.
Obviously, at the end of the day, if you get all of these games, but its not a good service, then whats the point and thats kind of where weve been at for the past few months with microsoft, xcloud weve tried it on and off and its always Been really really hit and miss and its had a lot of latency issues and just made it kind of been a bit of an unplayable mess, and we found that for a lot of people out there. Some people have found that it works really really well. A lot of people in the comments talked about the fact that theres too much latency its still impossible to play, and some people have said that its still not working great for them as well. So bear that in mind when we go through this review. Your own setup at home, how far away you are from the service thats all gon na, have a massive effect on your experience. So lets talk about what we like about it, and that first thing is the library theres just so much to play theres pretty much something out there. Thats going to suit everybodys gaming style, weve had a blast recently playing things like back for blood, ive been playing star wars, battlefront, and it worked so incredibly well and just a few months ago there was no way that id have been able to play first person. Shooter on microsoft, x cloud, it just wouldnt have been possible.
Revisiting old games like skyrim and playing it on. My mobile phone is absolutely incredible, then, being able to pick up where i left off on my pc and then, if i got an xbox for example, i could throw that in the mix and do that as well. Its just such a great experience and that library is something that is really really hard to resist. Moving across on to the interface and theres been a lot of things, theyve been updated with xcloud, and one of the big standouts to me anyway, is the fact. Theyve now got over 100 games that are supported for touch controls as well, its not the ideal way to play at the end of the day, and you dont really get too much customization over those controls. However, its nice to have so that way, if you dont, have a games controller that you can hook up to your ipad or to your phone youll, be able to play quite a few of those titles and just use the touch controls as well. One thing that i really like about the touch controls is: they do change depending whats happening in the game, so when were playing dragon quest, when you got to those sort of like cut scenes and stuff like that, or you were talking to different characters, it didnt Have the whole user interface up on the screen at any given time, itd switch out and change depending on what youre doing in the game.
So if you dont have a controller to hand, you can still play a lot of games and a lot of them work. Really really well with some of those on screen, touch controls moving across on to the actual gameplay side of things, and that has improved astronomically. So recently, microsoft completed their move, so everything thats getting streamed to is getting streamed from customer series x hardware and that change shows massively load times are improved. Hugely frames per second has been improved, a massive amount as well and graphics. Look a lot better. The biggest thing that weve noticed, though, because all of that looked pretty good beforehand and it wasnt a massive deal breaker for us, but previously latency was an issue. An input lag was an absolute nightmare for us. So what was happening is we were getting these great graphics on screen. Everything was getting streamed was perfectly fine, but using a bluetooth controller made playing xcloud absolutely impossible, and even when we hooked up with something like the razer kishi, it was still pretty much an unplayable mess. First person shooters were an absolute. No, no, you could do turn based rpgs, but even then there was a lot of slowdowns and it was, it was just not. A great experience bear in mind were based in the uk, so we are probably gon na have more latency and stuff like that. So thats one thing to consider, but it was just an absolute nightmare and it wasnt playable as of about three weeks ago, when we picked the servers up again, we have found it to be almost not quite as good as google sodium.
So if youve used, google stage in the past, youve probably found that its a pretty silky smooth experience, if you use geforce now thats in our opinion, just a little bit of a step down versus something like stadia and the next clouds always been towards the bottom S cloud seems to have caught up now with the likes of geforce now and almost stayed here as well, and the gameplay has been incredibly smooth. Weve had almost no drop frames, weve almost had no input lag as well and thats, not just with a plug in controller. I was really really surprised, so we played back for blood and i was using the backbone one controller, obviously that plugs directly into the iphone. So that we should have as minimal input lag as possible, and then i moved across onto the ipad, expecting it to be a whole mess. However, once i hooked up the bluetooth controller, it worked pretty much as well as using one of the controllers that physically plugs in, so they have done some tinkering in the background and it has improved massively for the first time ever in our experience. Xcloud right now is really really playable and almost as good as the likes as google stadia now bear in mind. That will vary from person to person, and this is where xcloud does fall apart, just that little bit its not consistent. So, for the most part, we are getting a really really playable experience, but i would say thats about 90 of the time 10 of the time it just doesnt really work and that kind of input lag returns and things just become a bit of an unplayable mess.
Even when i have exactly the same setup, no other device is streaming and nothing at all has changed. It can just sometimes not be working now. That could be that obviously still in data, so they are still testing it and it might not have the server capacity and everything else in the background, but it is really frustrating because its not something. I experience on other cloud gaming platforms, so yeah gameplay, is improved. Massively and xcloud is just fantastic: ive had a blast playing on some of these different titles that i just wouldnt have been able to play previously. One thing to bear in mind its definitely the service out of all the cloud gaming services. That is the most affected by other devices in my household, if im playing on google stadium or geforce now and my children watch something on netflix, for example, i can still play those cloud games and theyre not really impacted too much if im playing on xcloud and Somebody who watches something on netflix xcloud, just kind of it just poops itself, and it it just absolutely stops working and i get so much latency. I get so much input lag so out of all three of what wed call the major cloud. Gaming services xcloud, for whatever reason is massively affected by any other sort of bandwidth hogs in the household, so again bear that in mind. If youre in a busy household, it might not work for you, and in fact, for us it absolutely does not other things that we really like about.
Xcloud is its now available to stream on a pc as well. So previously it was pretty much just on a phone or a tablet, and microsoft have been really really pushing forward so its now baked into windows 11. Although we dont have windows 11, but you can get it on windows 10 as well. So that way, if you dont want to download the games – and you want to take all those benefits of cloud gaming, you can do so – i played a lot of back for blood on my pc. I didnt download it. I streamed it instead and it was a really smooth experience. One thing that we definitely noticed is on the bigger screen: theres a lot of compression and the graphics dont look anywhere near as good so again out of geforce. Now, google stadia and xcloud xcloud probably looks the worst and it definitely seems to be a lot more compression than the other services. However, it still aint nice to have as they roll it out its also getting rolled out to older consoles as well. So if you have an older, xbox, youll be able to start taking advantage of next gen, gameplay and next gen titles as well so thats, something thats really worthwhile, bearing in mind when making a decision, one area where they do let themselves down, though, is that compatibility? Its available in your tablets, your phones, obviously now pc as well, but currently getting it onto a tv, is a lot harder.
Unless, of course, you buy an xbox. Microsoft are apparently working on game, streaming, sticks and theyre, also working on getting tv compatibility. So that is something in the pipeline, but at the moment, if you dont have an xbox, it does become a lot harder to get onto the big screen tv, so thats kind of our x cloud experience in a nutshell. As of right now, it is the most playable it has ever been so late 2021. We would absolutely recommend giving xcloud a try its one of the most exciting propositions in our opinion, anyway, out of all the cloud gaming services, because we get that library games they can play on our gaming pc. If you wanted to go all in and get an xbox as well, then youre going to get those games and have that sort of cross, save and cross compatibility across all the different devices. And then, when you want to pick up and play on a mobile phone or a tablet, youd be able to do it through the streaming. It works incredibly well right now, however, the big thing is consistency. At the moment, if microsoft can nail that consistency, then we will pretty much be all in on this service. At the moment, there are just those few times which doesnt work, for whatever reason: theres nothing that weve done our end and a lot of people have told us in the comments as well that theyre still having those issues with microsoft x cloud.
A lot of input lag a lot of latency when we were having issues. Other people were talking about how they didnt have issues and again its just too hugely affected by everything else. So once they nail that down microsoft, xcloud is an extremely exciting proposition. At the moment, if you are just a cloud gamer, its probably going to be a little bit too expensive compared to some of the others, especially since they dont offer just a cloud gaming version of it, microsoft have said and kind of mentioned and teased. That is something theyre looking at in the future, but at the moment you have to sign up for that. Full game pass package which is primarily focused for pc and also obviously xboxes as well, and you get the cloud gaming thrown in on top of it. Itd be nice to see that change and then push forward in the future, but obviously well have to wait and see what happens so right now. Microsoft, excellent is definitely worthwhile, giving a try. You can get different trials and they always have some incredibly incredibly discounted deals out there as well. So if you havent used xcloud and game password already its worth, giving it a go, see how well it works for your setup, but at the end of the day, its a massively good value proposition. It offers some great streaming experience when its working and ideally if you can get a controller that plugs directly into your device rather than a bluetooth controller.
Youre gon na have a much much more consistent, gameplay experience so yeah its a really exciting time for cloud gaming. Microsoft are massively pushing forward theyve made some huge huge improvements over just the last couple of months, so were really excited to see what they do over the next sort of six to twelve months. Let us know in the comments what your experience with microsoft excel has been. Have you been getting a good experience, or has it been a relatively poor experience? Has it changed like ours has? Obviously yours has gone from being really bad to really good right now and if you arent, using xcloud or what game streaming service, are you using at the end of the day you cant go wrong kind of dipping in and out of all the game streaming services. We do all the time, because theres games that are available on different platforms, theres different experiences available on different platforms and thats. One of the great things about cloud gaming is that you have that flexibility to dip in and out of different services. You dont have to make that big upfront purchase. You just pay your monthly fee and yeah enjoy, whichever one you want to do.