Back in June, Microsoft promised that it was close to upgrading the servers for its cloud game streaming service, xCloud. The said upgrade would mean that the servers would run using Xbox Series X hardware. It's only been two weeks since and the upgrades can already be felt in certain games.
A handful of games are either already showing graphics options in their settings menu that should be exclusive to the Xbox Series X, or are experiencing faster loading times than before.
Which xCloud Games Have Xbox Series X Upgrades?
Xbox Game Streaming or xCloud is an added value service for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. xCloud launched in September 2020 and has consistently received upgrades. It's part of Microsoft's bid to become the Netflix streaming equivalent in gaming, which should come in handy especially now that Netflix is reportedly looking at getting into the gaming industry.
However, while Microsoft has done a great job at improving xCloud, including adding an excellent selection of games with Touch controls, all upgrades usually come with an announcement. This one didn't.
Without any fanfare or notice, Microsoft seems to have rolled out the Xbox Series X server blades upgrades for xCloud. Those who are subscribed today will notice the difference immediately. Case in point, Rainbow Six Siege now has a "Prioritize Resolution" graphics mode in its setting. This will let the game run at up to 120 fps at the expense of lowering the resolution.
At the moment, the 120FPS feature for Rainbow Six Siege is exclusive to the Xbox Series S/X. It's not available for the Xbox One and Xbox One X.
Other games where users are reportedly seeing changes include Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Black Desert.
Upgrading the server blades from the Xbox One S to the Xbox Series X is a huge step. This allows xCloud to offer higher resolutions and performance for its users compared to when it was still using the Xbox One S server blades. However, Microsoft hasn't confirmed this at the moment, so it may still be working out all the kinks before it rolls out the update for its entire library.
Having said that, Microsoft is now one step closer to becoming the Netflix equivalent of gaming. In addition to xCloud, Microsoft previously announced that it's working on releasing an Xbox TV app and an xCloud streaming stick, among others.
On top of this, Microsoft plans on letting Xbox One console owners stream next-gen Microsoft titles via xCloud later this year.