Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming levels up: Microsoft actively upgrading server blades to Xbox Series X tech

Xbox Series X hardware xCloud cloud gaming Microsoft
Xbox Series X hardware powering Microsoft xCloud? Pic credit: Ian Hughes/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Microsoft xCloud or Xbox Cloud gaming platform has started to receive the promised upgrade which would seriously boost the gaming experience for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. Simply put, Microsoft is upgrading the backend server blades from Xbox One to Xbox Series X.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Cloud Gaming will get a whole lot better owing to a serious upgrade. Up until now, games streamed remotely, were running in dated Xbox One hardware. However, quite a few gamers are reportedly seeing Xbox Series X hardware powering games.

Select Xbox Game Pass games already seem running on Xbox Series X hardware:

It is important to note that Microsoft hasn’t officially confirmed the upgrade process. However, the company has been promising the same for quite some.

Incidentally, Microsoft is still to offer any official statement and hasn’t yet indicated any confirmed timeline.

One of the notable titles that seem to be benefitting immediately from the upgrade process includes Yakuza: Like a Dragon. While Microsoft isn’t openly claiming to offer Xbox Series X Server blades, there are ample indicators.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon now loads nearly instantly. This is obviously because of the exceptionally faster SSDs. It also includes specific menu toggles for either higher-resolution or higher frame rates.

Simply put, the game appears to have all the visual features that Microsoft included in the Xbox Series X version of the title. Interestingly, quite a few gamers are already experimenting with settings within other games to check if they are available on the new hardware.

It is amply clear that Microsoft has not switched all games from Xbox One to Xbox Series X server blades. Some of the popular titles like NBA 2K21 and Ori and the Will of the Wisps still seemingly running on older hardware. Despite the slow progress, the process has begun.

Is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate a good choice at $15 per month?

With Xbox Series X powering the backend, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate seems like a very attractive choice. After all, gamers not only get cloud gaming but also EA Play and Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, all for just $15 per month.

Incidentally, neither Amazon Luna nor Google Stadia offer anything that resembles “next-gen gaming”. NVIDIA GeForce Now does offer a special subscription that unlocks the ‘RTX’ or Ray Tracing feature, but it costs extra.

Despite all the advantages, the cloud gaming experience is still far from gaming on a dedicated, high-end, gaming console such as Sony PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series S|X. Gamers who have been experimenting with such services have complained about image compression and button-tap latency.

Despite its current limitations, cloud gaming has its merits. And the ongoing chip shortage, partly fueled by the pandemic, is only helping companies like Microsoft, Walmart, Amazon, Google, NVIDIA, etc.

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