Microsoft's xCloud game streaming service has been in a closed beta (preview) state since last year, but starting tomorrow the open beta is being made available.
xCloud is Microsoft's vision for the future of gaming. At least some part of it. To bring that vision to life, it's bundling xCloud with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. That bundle will go live in September, officially on September 15.
Until then though, you can check out what xCloud is all about via the open beta if you haven't been able to access to the preview. There is however one small catch.
The xCloud open beta will only be for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers
According to The Verge, only those who subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be able to try out xCloud.
Of course anyone who already has access to xCloud through the preview will still get to keep it. Access will however shut down for everyone on September 11 before going into a full launch on September 15.
You'll need to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate then too. So it isn't too surprising that Microsoft is giving some priority access to current subscribers. Aside from being a nice little gift for loyal users of the service, it also serves as a way to potentially bring in new subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Should anyone not already subscribed want to give xCloud a try now, they need to pay up. And if they love how the whole things works and want more of it, they can keep subscribing. Which is probably just what Microsoft is hoping for. It'll likely work too.
If you don't currently subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can do so right now and you should have access to xCloud once things go live tomorrow. You will need the Xbox Game Pass (beta) app on your Android device as well.
The beta will be limited and so will the games library
This is going to be a limited beta which is why it will only include anyone who already subscribes to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Microsoft also says that "it's crucial" to how the service will work overall post launch. So it wants to give existing subscribers as much as time as possible to test things out ahead of time.
In the end it will give the company some important feedback that it can use to help polish up anything that isn't already a smooth sailing part of the experience.
The games library will also be limited and contain around 30 games from the full lineup, which is supposed to include over 100 titles at launch.