Microsoft released a beta of their web-based xCloud game streaming service recently. It would seem that this version of the service will work with any web browser that supports WebRTC, so let’s see how that works.
I decided to plug an Xbox controller into the USB port of my Pinebook Pro running Manjaro Linux and the open-source Chromium web browser.
If you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you can try the new beta web-based streaming service at Xbox.com/Play as well. The system requirements say that you need a Windows 10 PC or an Apple iOS 14+ device, but… guess what… Linux works, too.
Of course, you’ll also want a high-speed 10Mbps+ internet connection for the streaming, and an Xbox controller plugged in via USB or paired via Bluetooth. Microsoft mainly built this version because Apple won’t let them make a game streaming app for the Apple App Store, so the web-based method is a workaround for that. The bonus is that this web-based version happens to work with a lot of other platforms too.
This Pinebook Pro has extremely low specs by the way. It’s a six-core, 1.4GHz, Pine64 ARM processor with only 4GB of RAM and 64GB eMMC storage. If that was running Windows 10, everything would be laggy!
See below for how Xbox Game Streaming actually works on this very inexpensive Linux laptop running Manjaro XFCE Linux.
As you’ll see, the simple games work quite well, while more action-oriented games are probably going to need a bit more processing power on the client-side. Outriders worked ok, but there was certainly some latency, and Halo 5 Guardians turned out to be practically unplayable.