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Google Stadia is straightforward, but Microsoft xCloud already feels like the future of cloud gaming



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Project xCloud is a cloud gaming service that must be defeated.

James Martin / CNET

Google Stadia is open for business and the battle for cloud gaming supremacy is ongoing. But the launch of the problematic Stadia feels like it really makes the case for Project xCloud which is still in beta from Microsoft a cloud gaming service that must be considered.

Cloud gaming – a service that allows users to play games running on remote servers – ensures that wherever players go, they can stay connected to the gaming platform of their choice. Sony was a starting player with PlayStation Now services in 2014, but it was Google that rocked everything when it announced Stadia at the Games Developer Conference in March. Microsoft followed suit with the announcement of its cloud gaming service, Project xCloud, at E3 2019.

I have spent time with all three services, and of the three, I feel most excited about Microsoft's gaming cloud for one simple reason: actually solving real-world problems.

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Stadia on the big screen TV.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Lack of storage is a problem that gamers must face. The Xbox One console has a 500GB or 1TB hard drive, and big budget games like Halo 5: Guardians can use up to 100GB. Every game that you buy physically or digitally must be installed on a console hard drive to be played. For me, it is a library that contains almost 200 games (and that does not include 200 other games available on Xbox Game Pass). With unlimited space, Project xCloud allows me to access those games without having to install them.

Instead of having to download games that I feel like playing around, Microsoft's cloud streaming service allows me to play Xbox One games on my Galaxy S10 Plus with a $ 25 Bluetooth controller that I bought more than a year ago, all without any hassle as long as I use Wi -Fi fast.

Stadia, on the other hand, did not give me a solution, only more problems. First, I already have a PC game with a Steam account that has access to many games that I can play from Valve's streaming application, Steam Link. Adding a new platform at Stadia means I have another non-Steam digital store that requires a separate purchase (or repurchase, in the case of a game that I already have).

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Until now, Stadia requires additional hardware – Chromecast Ultra – to be played on TV. These games are currently more expensive than other platforms, and because I don't have a Pixel phone, my only portable choice is a laptop. The current game list, at 22 games, is less than half of what xCloud promised. Most of the games are new and currently not hot either. Instead, Stadia offers the older Tomb Raider and Destiny games.

Of the three services, Project xCloud is the only one that works better in my direct test. Stadia worked very well when I tried beta last year but had a real surge when I tried it recently. On the other hand, as long as I use good Wi-Fi, I haven't seen much lag with Project xCloud.

The xCloud project has given me something that I need and is only in beta. Microsoft already has plans for more features, and to combine it with its Xbox Games Pass. If there is a "Netflix for video game" service that aims to be mainstream, it's Microsoft that is almost there.


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