Xbox Cloud Gaming in 2021

Friday, February 5, 2021

2020 was a big year for the cloud computing industry, in particular the cloud gaming market really started to pick up steam. As the world was forced to stay more inside because of lockdowns, cloud technology was relied on more and more heavily to help us achieve our everyday tasks, communicate, and enjoy ourselves.

Last year saw a huge amount of people turn to video games and online gaming as a release from the monotony of lockdown. It became a great way to socialise and have fun that a lot of people in the population hadn’t been aware of beforehand. As one of the leading names in the global gaming market, Xbox had a big part to play in last year’s gaming success. Now that we’ve moved into 2021, let’s look at what Xbox has planned for the months ahead.

A speed review of Xbox’s 2020 statistics

Below is a quick three point summary of some of the big statistics from 2020. 

  • 2020 had a 75% increase in gaming, across all platforms
  • Xbox live had up to 65 million users playing monthly
  • 51.51 million units of Xbox One were sold in 2020

Xbox cloud gaming in 2021

Looking to capitalise on the big progress that happened over the last 12 months, there are some big plans ahead for Xbox.

Xbox game pass ultimate is bringing a cloud gaming beta onto iOS and PC

In an effort to bring Xbox to new markets and audiences, Xbox is looking to expand beyond the ecosystem that it is based in. In doing so they hope to support multiple devices. Currently you are able to play on an Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Android devices, however from the spring of 2021, Windows PCs and iOS devices will also be able to play the Xbox game pass ultimate - which is their cloud gaming platform. 

This will be available through the Xbox app and browser and for people on iOS they can access their games on the mobile web browser. This move will mean that more than 1 billion devices are able to play within the Xbox framework. 

There was a moment when this plan looked to be in jeopardy. The original plan to launch Xbox cloud gaming on iOS involved a dedicated app that Apple didn’t like. As a workaround to this issue, both Microsoft and another game streaming service, GeForce Now have opted to use the mobile web browser as opposed to an app on the apple ecosystem. 

Expanding cloud gaming to new markets

The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will also be accessible from new geographical locations that already had a sneak preview via the Project xCloud program. These new markets are:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Japan
  • Mexico

What about the games?

It’s one thing talking about Xbox’s plans for the year, but as gamers, most people want to know what they will be able to play and if there are any big announcements. 

In a December blog post, Xbox teased some information about games that are set for the next year, including Halo Infinite, Psychonauts 2, and some ‘surprises’ are also in the works. Alongside this, new content is planned for Forza, Sea of Thieves, Grounded, and 27 other franchises. 

Below are some of the titles announced to be coming to Xbox:

  • CrossfireX
  • 12 Minutes (console launch exclusive)
  • Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • Far Cry 6
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Quarantine
  • Chorus
  • Ruined King: A League of Legends Story
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Balan Wonderworld
  • Resident Evil Village
  • The Artful Escape
  • Echo Generation
  • Songs of Iron
  • Tunic
  • Sable
  • Bright Memory Infinite
  • Way to the Woods
  • Echo Generation
  • Outriders
  • Shredders (console launch exclusive)

The below titles are moving to Xbox with Xbox Game Pass:

  • Halo Infinite
  • Psychonauts 2
  • The Ascent
  • The Medium (console launch exclusive)
  • The Gunk (console launch exclusive)
  • Warhammer 40K: Darktide (console launch exclusive)
  • Exomecha (console launch exclusive)
  • Scorn
  • Skatebird
  • Dead Static Drive
  • The Good Life

The year ahead will hopefully be a better one for people around the world than 2020 was. But one positive is that millions of people around the world found a new hobby in gaming, meaning that despite periods of isolation and lockdown, we were able to play and socialise with people around us. Xbox has big plans to make their game library and platform available to even more people over 2021, which is an extremely exciting prospect.