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Microsoft plans xCloud game streaming resolution upgrade from 720p to 1080p

By Nadeem Sarwar February 28, 2021, 11:24 am
Microsoft game streaming xcloud

Microsoft is currently at work trying to bring its xCloud game streaming service to more platforms, with a web-based solution currently being in the test phase for its arrival on PC and iOS. But if you’ve been playing games over the cloud on your Android phone or tablet, you must be aware of the 720p resolution limit, which is honestly quite disappointing. However, Microsoft is looking to bump the cloud game streaming resolution to 1080p, and the tests are already underway.

xCloud game streaming won't look like a blurry mess on tablets anymore

As per separate reports from The Verge and Windows Central, Microsoft has started testing 1080p streaming for the xCloud service. However, it is unclear when the resolution boost will go live widely for all users. The improvement in visual quality likely comes as part of an infrastructure upgrade that involves replacing the older Xbox One S server blades with more powerful Xbox Series X boards.

The next-gen processor inside the Xbox Series X is way more powerful compared to the server blades based on the existing Xbox One S boards, and is said to come with a built-in video encoder that is reportedly 6x faster. Additionally, the faster SSDs inside Microsoft’s latest console might also reduce the game loading times on the xCloud service. As for the resolution bump, games will no longer look like a blurry mess at 720p resolution, especially on tablets. 

Just so you know, the free tier of Google's Stadia offers 1080p output

In comparison, the free tier of rival game streaming service from Google – Stadia – already offers 1080p resolution, and goes all the way up to 4K. As for xCloud, you currently need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription that costs  $14.99 per month. For that price, you get perks such as cloud game streaming, access to over 100 games (on mobile, PC as well as consoles), exclusive discounts, EA Play subscription as well as Xbox Live Gold benefits. 

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