The Xbox Game Streaming app is now available on Windows – via a sneaky download

Surprise: Xbox game streamingThe Stadia-like service, which offers over 200 games at a flat rate of $ 15 per month, now works on Windows 10 PCs. The catch for now is that it’s not officially out yet.

A workaround that quietly leaked in late 2020 is finally making the rounds thanks to recent Reddit and YouTube releases. At that time, Microsoft has not yet introduced this method to get the game streaming service, which is currently exclusively available for Android, up and running on your PC. It requires accessing and downloading an app otherwise buried in an official Microsoft database and using a one-time unlock phrase to make it work.

But the steps are simple and safe enough, as I’ve tested, to recommend to anyone who wants to test out Xbox’s streaming option on their favorite Win10 laptop or desktop – and finally to see how Xbox Game Streaming ( formerly known as Project xCloud) works on wired ethernet connections.

Xtreme tactics

After public testing at exhibitions in 2019, Xbox Game Streaming was turned off A formal part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription service for $ 15 per month in September 2020. At press time, it’s arguably the world’s most content-rich game streaming option – it offers more at the price than the subscription and mix of A la carte Options on Google Stadia– and it currently offers a whopping 225 streamable games as part of its fee. (As of the end of 2020, this selection will include the extensive EA Play library.)

Unless you have an Android-based smart TV and are familiar with side-loading, your options for larger screens and Ethernet connections are limited solely to Android smartphones and tablets due to the app’s initial rollout. (Even Xbox’s biggest console competitor has an advantage here thanks to PlayStation Nows game streaming compatibility with Windows PCs.) According to internal Microsoft meetings, the Xbox division has cemented its efforts land on more devices in 2021Use a web-based protocol that bypasses the current iOS restrictions on game streaming apps.

Today’s leaked option appears to be based on a custom executable backend as opposed to a solution that runs on web browsers. The method, as originally shared by Reddit user pejamas1986 in November 2020, was described as an app designed to sideload in “developer mode” on the Xbox Series X / S A newer version of the Cloud Gaming Xtreme YouTube channel confirmed that the app in question was also created with Windows 10 compatibility in mind.

The app in question can be made available through a visit RG adguard, a website that analyzes Microsoft Store links and finds their official downloads, whose URLs can be verified before downloading. In the case of Xbox Game Streaming, a public url for the Spanish version of the app can be parsed to expose a range of files. Get this MS Store url, paste it into the RG Adguard interface, and you will get a series of links. The desired ends with the extension “.appxbundle”. Download that and manually add this extension to the download when the process is complete. Presto: You have a 220MB file that starts up, your current paid XGPU subscription is verified, and you can start streaming any of the 200+ games as soon as you enter an “Offering ID” code, in this case only the phrase “XGPUBeta”, no quotes.

A question of frames and mice

You have been warned: The app in question is clearly labeled as a “test app” so your mileage will likely vary as it is not a publicly supported app. Ars is not held responsible for crazy things that happen when you use it. Even so, I’ve tested the app on several Win10 retail computers (i.e. not in the operating system’s beta pools) and can report that it appears to work well enough. Wired playback on a Win10 desktop computer resulted in superior key press latency than on a laptop over 5 GHz WiFi. I could play fighting games like Killer instinct via a wired cloud streaming setup and tolerate the added latency, but I wasn’t nearly as happy with playing the same stuff on my wireless laptop.

That said, it’s nice to have a bigger screen option for both use cases, regardless of whether or not I want to tolerate some lag while playing the new Square Enix shooter Outrider or go fully wireless with slower, portable, friendly plans like Kill the tower. And if you like looking behind the Xbox development veil, this app lets you do just that with “developer” options built right into every menu. These show juicy moment-to-moment statistics like bandwidth measurements and jitter – and they confirm a working resolution of 1080p for many games, which is a boost compared to the Android app. (At press time, however, these games are all being rendered on a server farm tuned to Xbox One S specs, not next-gen, so don’t expect the performance and graphical surge found in the 2020 generation of consoles .)

The biggest catch so far is that you will need a gamepad to play most of the games available, unless the game in question has formal keyboard and mouse support for its Xbox versions – and even then, I haven’t finally tested the app to see if these controls can be exposed by this test app. At the same time, you’ll need to keep your mouse handy (or use a laptop’s touchscreen) to access the app’s top menu structure for exiting and switching between games. This is how long it takes to use unofficial testing apps. And while this is a “test” app, it still looks for legitimate customer credentials, so your Windows 10 computer must have Xbox credentials with an ongoing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership. Otherwise it won’t work.

And it remains to be seen whether a full web browser version of Xbox Game Streaming will prove to be better than this Win10 executable, though of course that version gives access to even more devices, including those that prove to be more convenient to connect to Your device will turn TV.

Listing picture by Sam Machkovech

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