Xbox Cloud Gaming is the easiest way for PlayStation owners to play Xbox games

These days, you don’t even need an Xbox console to have easy access to hundreds of Xbox games (new and old) in Australia.

August 02, 2022
5 min read

It’s expensive being a console gamer these days, particularly if you own a PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and a Nintendo Switch. But Microsoft is making it easier than ever to play Xbox games via Xbox Cloud Gaming. You don’t even need an Xbox console to play! Here’s everything you need to know about Xbox Cloud Gaming in Australia.

Xbox Cloud Gaming

What is Xbox Cloud Gaming?

Xbox Cloud Gaming is the more straightforward, newfangled name for what used to be called Project xCloud. Whether you’re talking about xCloud or Xbox Cloud Gaming, they’re both the same thing: a cloud-based service for streaming selected Xbox games to compatible devices.

Think of it like Netflix for gaming. Where video streaming services offer another way to watch on-demand movies and TV series outside of popping in a disc, Xbox Game Cloud offers on-demand gaming of hundreds of Xbox games.

It’s still in beta form, but there are a few key requirements for accessing it. For starters, you need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, which costs $1 for the first month for new users, but typically costs $15.95 per month in Australia. While certain games support touchscreen controls, you really should use a compatible controller for less clunky gameplay and to help access the full library.

Play Video

How does Xbox Cloud Gaming actually work?

Xbox Cloud Gaming works a lot like streaming video with some extra steps. When you choose a game to play on Xbox Cloud Gaming, it sends a request to start the game on an available Xbox console that’s at the nearest Microsoft Azure server stack.

In my tests, it takes around 10 seconds to load a game, which means you’re looking at the typical game intro videos before hitting the main menu. Assuming you have a stable connection and low latency, controller inputs are sent to the streaming Xbox console as the game downloads.

There’s an ever-so-slight delay for controller inputs being sent to the Xbox streaming console and those inputs reflected on your screen. If you remain inactive for too long, the session will automatically exit, otherwise you can play for hours (some users report a stream ending after four or five hours). For certain supported games, save data is synced, so you can pick up where you left off the last time you played.

When Xbox Cloud Gaming was called Project xCloud, it streamed games at 720p resolution and 30 frames per second (fps). Since rebranding to Xbox Cloud Gaming, games are now streamed at up to 1080p and 60fps. Finally, the other thing you need is at least 20Mbps download speed, ideally on a 5GHz WiFi connection.

Xbox Cloud Gaming

Hands on with Xbox Cloud Gaming

While not yet a viable replacement for a dedicated gaming platform, Xbox Cloud Gaming is a great step forward for showcasing the potential of the technology.

Internet and hardware requirements for Xbox Cloud Gaming

Any form of cloud gaming is sensitive to latency, so the lower the latency of your connection, the better the experience. In terms of the basics, Microsoft recommends 20Mbps download speed but doesn’t recommend anything for upload.

As for hardware, you can stream to Xbox One, Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X consoles. It means Xbox One users can stream Xbox Series S|X games that may not be compatible with their systems. For all compatible Xbox consoles, it also means you don’t have to download a game or wait for patches to jump into the action.

There are other supported devices, too. Stream Xbox Cloud Games via Xbox.com, play on windows PC or Apple phone/tablet via Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Safari browsers. In my tests, Microsoft Edge is best because it has an ‘enable clarity boost’ option, which helps make streamed games look even better. Android mobiles and tablets (version 6.0 and higher) can stream games via the Xbox Game Pass mobile app.

Windows 10 and Windows 11 users can download the Xbox app on PC to stream games. This Xbox app is also where you can download eligible Xbox Game Pass Ultimate games for PC, but there’s a dedicated ‘Cloud Gaming’ section if you just want to stream (it used to be much harder to find). Finally, Xbox Cloud Gaming is also available on select Samsung 2022-model smart TVs via a dedicated app.

Product image of the 8bitdo Nintendo Switch Controller
Which controllers are compatible with Xbox Cloud Gaming?
There are more than a dozen different controllers that are compatible with Xbox Cloud Gaming. The easiest compatibility choice is a recent Xbox Wireless Controller that supports Bluetooth, as this makes it easier to play across all Xbox Cloud Gaming devices. Even the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for the PlayStation 4 is listed as a compatible device. There are other compatible controllers that will also work via USB.

Recommended internet plans for Xbox Cloud Gaming

If you want to stream games via Xbox Cloud Gaming, you’ll need an internet plan with at least 20Mbps download speed. For homes, this means you can get away with an NBN 25 plan, but we advise spending a bit more on at least an NBN 50 plan to take advantage of the extra bandwidth (and it lets you stream to two devices if you have multiple Xbox Game Pass Ultimate accounts).

Below is a daily updating list of popular NBN 50 plans from our comparison engine.

Most Aussie homes can sign up to NBN 100 plans, so if you want bandwidth to spare—plus the option to stream to up to five Xbox Cloud Gaming devices (if you have enough accounts)—consider the speed boost. Below is a daily updating list of popular NBN 100 plans from our database.

If you want the best performance on Xbox Cloud Gaming, you’ll want an NBN plan with the lowest latency. According to the most recent ACCC NBN performance data from 11 participating providers, Exetel, Superloop, Aussie Broadband, Dodo & iPrimus (counted as a single entry), TPG and Optus offer the fastest average latency speeds for NBN plans.

Below is a daily updating list of popular NBN plans from these providers.

While you can technically use a 4G mobile plan to stream games via Xbox Cloud Gaming, we’d advise using a 5G mobile plan instead. Why? If you’re in an area with 5G coverage, 5G mobile plans have faster download speeds and lower latency than 4G, which makes for a smoother gameplay experience.

Microsoft recommends 10Mbps download speeds for mobile devices, which can help preserve bandwidth. This is important because Xbox Cloud Gaming can use up to 4.5GB of data per hour on mobile devices (and around 9GB for non-mobile devices).

Below is a daily updating list of popular 5G mobile plans from our comparison engine (with at least 50GB of data).

What games are included with Xbox Cloud Gaming?

Microsoft is quite conservative when it comes to reporting the number of games on Xbox Cloud Gaming, saying there are 100+ console games available for streaming. At the time of writing, there were 384 games available to stream. For context, that number is the same amount for games available on Windows PC, but it’s behind the 456 games playable via Xbox Game Pass on Xbox Series S|X consoles and the 480 available for Xbox One players.

This library includes all recent Xbox Game Studios titles (Halo, Forza, Gears of War), most Bethesda games (Doom, Fallout, Wolfenstein) and a whole lot of other games from other publishers. One of the best things about Xbox Game Pass is it includes access to older games, including Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox games. A lot of these are playable via Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Like video streaming services, there’s a rotation of available games, which means not every game is a permanent fixture. In my experience, it’s safe to expect to see all Xbox Game Studios titles with fixed availability, and the same is true for any studios that Microsoft has bought (most notably Bethesda).

How does Xbox Cloud Gaming compare?

As part of an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, here’s how Xbox Cloud Gaming compares to other game subscription services.

Service
Trial
Monthly price
Online Play
Library size
Features
Platforms
$7.99
/mo
Yes200+
iOS games
Exclusive game library, online play, family sharing and weekly gamesiPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV
$15.95
/mo
Yes, includes Gold400+
Windows PC, X360, XBO and XSS and XSX
Monthly games, game library, cloud gaming, exclusive discounts and online playPC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X
$10.95
/mo
No400+
X360, XBO and XSS and XSX games
Monthly games, game library, cloud gaming, exclusive discounts and online playXbox One, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X
$10.95
/mo
No400+
Windows PC games
Monthly games, game library, cloud gaming, exclusive discounts and online playPC
PS Plus Essential
$11.95
/mo
Required20+
PS Plus Collection games (only on PS5)
Monthly games, exclusive discounts, game library, game trials, cloud storage and online playPlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5
PS Plus ExtraPS Plus Extra
$18.95
/mo
Required400+
PS4 and PS5 games
Monthly games, exclusive discounts, game library, game trials, cloud storage and online playPlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5
PS Plus DeluxePS Plus Deluxe
$21.95
/mo
Required800+
PS1, PS2, PSP, PS4 and PS5 games
Monthly games, exclusive discounts, game library, game trials, cloud storage and online playPlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5
Nintendo Switch OnlineNintendo Switch Online
$5.95
/mo
Required for select titles100+
NES and SNES games
Online play, classics game library, cloud saves and exclusive member offersNintendo Switch
NSO Expansion PackNintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack
$59.95
/yr
Required for select titles150+
NES, SNES, N64 and SMD games
Online play, classics game library, cloud saves and exclusive member offersNintendo Switch
Google Play Pass LogoGoogle Play Pass
$7.99
/mo
Yes450+
Android games
Game library, app library, family sharing and yearly subscription optionsAndroid smartphones and tablets

Xbox Cloud Gaming FAQs

Project xCloud was the name for Xbox Cloud Gaming during its trial period. Now that the trial period is over, Xbox Cloud Gaming is absolutely available in Australia.
While you can use an Xbox One, Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X for Xbox Cloud Gaming, you don’t need one of those consoles to stream. Xbox Cloud Gaming also supports Android, Windows 10 and Apple devices (via browser).
Xbox Cloud Gaming absolutely works on Xbox One, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X consoles. You need a 20Mbps internet connection, Xbox controller and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription to access it.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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