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My Mixed Thoughts on XCloud. From a gamer who doesnt like the idea of streaming games, but wanted to try.

Stuart360

Member
Now i'm not stupid, streaming is the future, the long term future. Anyone thinking we will still be gaming ona console 30 years from now, well its a day dream (although who know what Nintendo will do as they are dettached from reality).

Anyway i recently upgraded my Fibre to 500mb, and i got 6 months of Gamepass Ultimate with the upgrade. This is my feelings.

The Good -

Being able to just click on a game, and within a few seconds you are in said game, well its weird, and pretty awesome i'm not going to lie.
The fact that as a PC gamer, i'm now able to play a selection of 360 and orig Xbox games is also pretty trippy, and i didnt even realize that was the case with XCloud on PC,.
Latency, now this REALLY surprised me. I could not feel any latency, everything i presssed seemed instant. Now compared to PSNow that i tried for a month when it launched on PC, well you could lterally see the delay between button presses and what you see on screen. XCloud, at least for me, is instant.

The Bad-

Although image quality looks surprsingly good (almost native at times), the image can break up often, which makes the image suddenly look like a Youtube vid. Now i know part of that depends on internet conncection, but i'm pretty sure 500mb Fibre is enough lol.
Framerate in games. Games seem to come with 30fps and 60fps options. 30fps works great, but the 60fps options seem to have a lot of slowdown at times, and i dont mean internet related slowdown, it can slowdown when something complex is on screen, and you can look away and look back again and the framerate will drop. Thats somehting i didnt expect when using streaming as obviously you are not running the game natively on your hardware lol.
Sometimes a game will freeze for a split second, or even lose connection. Again something i didnt expect with 500mb Fibre.

All in all XCLoud was a mixed bag for me. Good in some sense, bad in others.
The real kicker for me is when image quality drops and it looks like you are watching a Youtube vid, it just breaks the immersion completely.

Anyway trying XCloud hasnt converted me. The conveniance of it is unparelled, but some things are more important than conveniance, at least for me.

Streaming will improve as the years go by obviously, but for now gaming native is the only option for me.:messenger_sunglasses:


Oh and just to stop the inevitable 'No wonder Gamepass is doing so well, Microsft are giving it away lolz' posts. This is nothing to do with Microsft, its my internet provider (BT) pays £10 a month and buys a month of Ultimnate and credits it to your account. Even on your BT statement you see a charge of £10, then underneath a refund of £10.
 
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elliot5

Member
I haven't encountered artifacts in a while, but when I did it was pretty bad due to packet loss. That may be what you're experiencing. Performance has improved greatly over the past few months for me, I can only hope they continue to improve the picture quality to something like 1440p or even 4K streams for GPU subs.
 

Topher

Gold Member
I've been using xCloud quite a bit for MS Rewards stuff. It is fine, but I don't think it is replacing local gaming anytime soon. At this point, some games are better suited for cloud than others. I tried Forza Horizon 5 with xCloud and sorry, that just isn't fun at all. Now for casuals playing stuff like The Sims.....that seems perfect.

I also don't think it is "the future" as in the only future. As long as people are willing to pay money for local hardware then so will gaming. Whether that means consoles or PC gamers or some variant remains to be seen, but for local gaming to just go away would mean there is no demand for it. Don't see that happening.
 

elliot5

Member
I have Gig fiber. Even on hard wired option there is noticeable input lag to go along with artifact’ing etc. I’m not sure how fast the internet speeds would ever have to be match the dedicated hardware experience. They can all keep cloud gaming.
that's not speed and rather stability that's your problem. You only need like 50 Mbps to stream xcloud effectively. Even hardwired can have packet loss from the router through the ISP to Azure and back.
 
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Punished Miku

Gold Member
Perfect approach from them. It's basically free, and optional, and integrated into phones with touch controls and on consoles for demos.

They're geniuses for marketing it as an optional, small, cost-free addition and for not pushing it in our faces as a replacement. That one tweak flipped my opinion on the whole thing.

I've had lag and image quality dips as well, but when it works it's pretty fun to see.
 

Topher

Gold Member
Perfect approach from them. It's basically free, and optional, and integrated into phones with touch controls and on consoles for demos.

They're geniuses for marketing it as an optional, small, cost-free addition and for not pushing it in our faces as a replacement. That one tweak flipped my opinion on the whole thing.

I've had lag and image quality dips as well, but when it works it's pretty fun to see.

xCloud? Free?
 

M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
Highly depends on game, not sure why but playing Hades on phone seems great, with touch controls, but something like Forza h. 5 on controller feels like trash. It's just an accessory to me, to my subscription.
 

skit_data

Member
I’ve had good experiences with both PS Now and Geforce Now, both work fine with low latency and good streaming quality. I imagine Xcloud is the same.

To be completely honest I think the hate for streaming is a bit hyperbolic. Maybe it doesn’t work well with twitch shooters or other FPS games but for like 90% of all other types of gaming I’d guess people couldn’t tell the difference.
 

CS Lurker

Member
What you used to play? Browser (which one)? Windows App? Android app?

The performance seems to be that "your mileage may vary" thing. For me it runs so smoothly (android app, windows app, edge browser). I can play for hours without having any image or sound issue. It only really needs that bitrate bump (maybe when they switch to a more efficient codec).
 

REDRZA MWS

Member
that's not speed and rather stability that's your problem. You only need like 50 Mbps to stream xcloud effectively. Even hardwired can have packet loss from the router through the ISP to Azure and back.
I hear you but on my end you can’t get better than Gig fiber hardwired, always make sure I set the consoles in the “DMZ”. No issues anywhere else, gaming regularly or streaming no matter how many devices on at once. It’s the cloud gaming. Inherent input lag from the time you press a button to what happens on screen. Non starter.
 
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Stuart360

Member
I've been using xCloud quite a bit for MS Rewards stuff. It is fine, but I don't think it is replacing local gaming anytime soon. At this point, some games are better suited for cloud than others. I tried Forza Horizon 5 with xCloud and sorry, that just isn't fun at all. Now for casuals playing stuff like The Sims.....that seems perfect.

I also don't think it is "the future" as in the only future. As long as people are willing to pay money for local hardware then so will gaming. Whether that means consoles or PC gamers or some variant remains to be seen, but for local gaming to just go away would mean there is no demand for it. Don't see that happening.
Yeah i tried Forza Horizon 5 and yeah games of that speed and graphical complexity seemingly are not made for streaming. Framerate was all over the place at speed, and image quality broke up considerably at speed.
 
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Orbital2060

Member
Its called Cloud Gaming since a while back


 

Gamezone

Gold Member
I've tried GeForce NOW, Stadia and xCloud a lot, but I definitely noticed that the technology just isn't there yet, and probably never will be. Latency just isn't good, and I have a really good connection.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
I've been using xCloud quite a bit for MS Rewards stuff. It is fine, but I don't think it is replacing local gaming anytime soon. At this point, some games are better suited for cloud than others. I tried Forza Horizon 5 with xCloud and sorry, that just isn't fun at all. Now for casuals playing stuff like The Sims.....that seems perfect.

I also don't think it is "the future" as in the only future. As long as people are willing to pay money for local hardware then so will gaming. Whether that means consoles or PC gamers or some variant remains to be seen, but for local gaming to just go away would mean there is no demand for it. Don't see that happening.
That is why people have to still purchase physical. Once digital is 100%, say goodbye to local native play.
 

Withnail

Member
Download speed is almost irrelevant really, but we still see this misunderstanding everywhere "but I have fibre duh", even in this thread. Your experience is primarily determined by the lottery of how close you are to the data center, next by configuration inside your home like whether you're wired or wireless. People should stop with the sweeping statements about whether the technology is or isn't there yet because YMMV, literally.
 

SScorpio

Member
that's not speed and rather stability that's your problem. You only need like 50 Mbps to stream xcloud effectively. Even hardwired can have packet loss from the router through the ISP to Azure and back.

I believe it's the tech more than anything else. I've done in-home streaming over a fully wired Gigabit network and fast motion scenes can all devolve into artifact messes. This is with in-home stream on PS, Xbox, and PC.

Surprisingly one of the most stable streaming experiences has been my Quest 2 VR headset wireless streaming off my PC. There can be moments where there's an issue, but they seem way less frequent than anything else I've used.

This is without mentioning that even when the picture is "perfect" it's still much softer than a device directly connected to a display.
 
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Does anyone who's using these game streaming services know how much data they use per hour? I know traditional online gaming doesn't really use that much data on average (e.g Fortnite averages about 70 MB per hour), but I figure data usage for game streaming is equivalent to whatever resolution you stream at, similar with films or shows.

So bandwidth has never been a potential issue, rather data usage considering a lot of ISPs here in America love to push data caps.

That is why people have to still purchase physical. Once digital is 100%, say goodbye to local native play.

Not only that but data caps, too. Imagine digitally buying 5 AAA games in a single month. For some of us that's over half a month's data usage budget.
 
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Hendrick's

Member
I haven't encountered artifacts in a while, but when I did it was pretty bad due to packet loss. That may be what you're experiencing. Performance has improved greatly over the past few months for me, I can only hope they continue to improve the picture quality to something like 1440p or even 4K streams for GPU subs.
Agreed. I know there are a lot of variables, but IQ has been consistent for awhile now for me. The quality of xCloud has been steadily improving since release. It's only a matter of time before this becomes the de facto way to play games.
 
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Plantoid

Member
Jedi Fallen Order doesn't stream well. but most other games i try do
I'm certain that it depends on a lot of factors because I did a full playthrough in Jedi grandmaster difficulty at my cousin's through 5ghz wifi connection, hooked to a 400mbps connection, my phone is a s20fe and I used Xbox series X controller through Bluetooth

Had no problems with lag, but graphics were a bit disappointing and I too experienced the drop in quality sometimes

Also had good experiences with dragon age inquisition, hades, hollow knight

Now for the bad experiences: every shooter I've tried was unplayable, Forza was unplayable for me

I work at the largest ISP of latin america, in my city (300k people) the lowest possible speed for internet is 200mbps, but you can get up to 2gbps for $50, it's cheap, 5g phones are getting cheap, I believe cloud gaming will be viable in less than 3 years (but never better or even in the same league as dedicated hardware)
 
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bender

What time is it?
As has been mentioned, it's great for Game Pass quests. I can't imagine using it for any game I'm invested in. The lag was super noticeable in NBA2K22.
 

DarkMage619

Report me if I continue to console war
More options are better than fewer options. As long as streaming remains an optional way to play a game that doesn't require a full download it will remain a fantastic feature. Concern as with most things is pretty hyperbolic particularly with Xbox because no one can name one Xbox game that is streaming ONLY. Hard to think of other places where you can stream a game to see if you like it and then download the title to play it locally. Fantastic way to try before committing to a big download.
 
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CS Lurker

Member
I'm certain that it depends on a lot of factors because I did a full playthrough in Jedi grandmaster difficulty at my cousin's through 5ghz wifi connection, hooked to a 400mbps connection, my phone is a s20fe and I used Xbox series X controller through Bluetooth

Had no problems with lag, but graphics were a bit disappointing and I too experienced the drop in quality sometimes

Also had good experiences with dragon age inquisition, hades, hollow knight

Now for the bad experiences: every shooter I've tried was unplayable, Forza was unplayable for me

I work at the largest ISP of latin america, in my city (300k people) the lowest possible speed for internet is 200mbps, but you can get up to 2gbps for $50, it's cheap, 5g phones are getting cheap, I believe cloud gaming will be viable in less than 3 years (but never better or even in the same league as dedicated hardware)

Sorry the question (don't need to answer): where do you live?
 
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StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Never done streamed gaming and dont plan to. I've never even done wifi gaming, except one time I tested wifi with a 360 to my bedroom tv and it kept connecting/disconnecting, so I bailed fast.

All gaming ever done has been hardwired to an ethernet cord (MP) or downloaded to my console or PC.
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
Xbox cloud gaming doesn't totally suck. I like being able to jump into a game to try it without an install. it's responsive enough for most games. The main thing that annoys me is how bad it is at updating dark scenes. Whatever grid based algorithm they use gets really confused when dark and slightly dark intermingle.
 

BabyYoda

Member
I stream XCloud to a mac (via WiFi) and then connect it to a smart TV via airplay, all the while playing it with a PS4 controller and it's surprisingly playable!

Some games are terrible that way, but for many (like San Andreas), I forget I'm not playing it natively. But man do I get some confused looks with my setup :p
 
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Elitro

Member
It's definitely exciting, but not there yet.

I tried the 3 months 1€ trial and ended up giving up on fast input games really quickly (Forza, Hades) and stuck to turn based games (Octopath traveler).

Still had issues with artifacts, volatile image quality and input lag was ever present (not THAT much, but noticeable).

The plan for now will be to create a new pc build (still on a 970) and revisit it many years down the line when my build struggles once more.
 

acm2000

Member
i play game pass cloud on my nvidia sheidl on 300mb fibre, its great but i really wish MS would up the res from 720p to 1080p for android, on my laptop connected to my tv i can use the 1080p mode and its great.

Neither are as impressive as geforce now tho, that shit is incredible.
 

Thirty7ven

Sony make cringe trainers.
It’s always a nice experience until there’s a sudden lag spike, the image falls apart, etc

Takes a certain kind of user to stick with it.
 
On xCloud there's a cap at 15Mb/s.

Guessing that's for 4K60? Eh...for 4K60 it just seems fiscally better to play local vs. streaming, not just because of latency but also if it's a really big game where you know you're going to spend more than 20 hours playing, it's cheaper (bandwidth-wise) to just buy the game & play locally.

But only if it's for a game you know you want and will be playing a lot of at that fidelity for more than a couple dozen hours. If it's just for trying out a variety of games for a little bit here and there, higher-bitrate streaming seems fine enough.

I think there is that threshold, though, where the higher the streaming bitrate (from better resolution & framerate) and the longer amount of time you're going to dedicate to a single or small handful of games, especially spread out over a few months, the benefit of local play and owning the game outweighs streaming (minus the console to play on, but if you're streaming on your console, that part is taken care of anyway).
 
The best "streaming" game service right now is Geforce Now. It's amazing. It's damn near imperceptible to a native PC experience. If anyone has doubts, I'd highly suggest they try that. The rest of the industry just has to catch up to the standard that Nvidia has set and then they'll be converts.

It will never replace a local experience for me, but if I didn't have access to my hardware and felt the urge to play, playing on Geforce Now would easily hold me over.
 

mckmas8808

Mckmaster uses MasterCard to buy Slave drives
I've been using xCloud quite a bit for MS Rewards stuff. It is fine, but I don't think it is replacing local gaming anytime soon. At this point, some games are better suited for cloud than others. I tried Forza Horizon 5 with xCloud and sorry, that just isn't fun at all. Now for casuals playing stuff like The Sims.....that seems perfect.

I also don't think it is "the future" as in the only future. As long as people are willing to pay money for local hardware then so will gaming. Whether that means consoles or PC gamers or some variant remains to be seen, but for local gaming to just go away would mean there is no demand for it. Don't see that happening.

Why are so many media members pushing for streaming to be the future?
 

Vindicator

Member
Played quite some FH5 with xcloud, tbh preferred it sometimes over my 2070, quieter and less power draw, might add that it's on 1gbit wired connection.
 
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