Microsoft has been gearing up for the imminent release of its latest consoles, the Xbox Series X and the Series S this November. The company recently announced more details about the greatly anticipated products, but it is not resting on its laurels in the lead up to the launch. Indeed, Microsoft has just released a beta version of an app simply called “Xbox beta“ that will be available for Android users. The app is unique because it will allow Xbox owners to remotely play the games they own directly on their phone.
Xbox remote play is another step in the right direction for gamers on the go. This could be a nifty little feature for a wide assortment of gamers across the world for several reasons. The new app will feature new and improved design from previous Xbox builds, and what is now being called the “Xbox remote play” service, which had been known as “Console Streaming” prior to this recent launch. Xbox remote play will give gamers the ability to connect remotely to an Xbox system and subsequently access games that have already been downloaded. Xbox Insiders will already be familiar with the feature, but Xbox is opening it up now to any Android user instead of just the diehard gamers.
This feature will now be available for free to anyone with an Android and a compatible Xbox console and will not require being an Xbox Insider like previous versions with the Console Streaming features. In addition, one person has the ability to log in to an unlimited amount of Xbox consoles and applications in a much more streamlined fashion, however, there are some limitations to this. For example, someone else won’t be able to play at home while another plays on a phone simultaneously.
On the other hand, if a brother, sister or parent has to watch their favorite TV show at an inopportune moment, a gamer can now jump on their couch and log in to the same exact game on their phone. Not only that, users with this app can even access other features available on the Xbox, such as movies and other content.
For some, this might sound like a familiar yet slightly different service that Microsoft has already offered to its customers. This is the Microsoft xCloud, which does give those with an Android phone the ability to stream games too. However, the xCloud is actually significantly more limiting because it must be used in tandem with specific titles that are part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate catalog. Secondly, the xCloud uses cloud servers belonging to Microsoft to stream these games.
Xbox’s rivals, Sony, have offered a similar service to their own customers, “Remote Play” and it is available on computers and the iPhone in addition to the Android devices. Remote Play gives gamers access to PS4 titles on these various devices.
The other useful updates to Xbox beta
In addition to the remote play functionality and what is the app’s most enticing feature, Xbox beta also does have a few other quality design related features that are clearly in anticipation of the impending new console releases. This in order to best accommodate some of the changes happening to the dashboards in the Xbox One and the Xbox Series X and S. The app also includes the ability to easily share screenshots and other content, a feature which will actually be able to be done from the new Xbox’s controller soon.
The new Xbox beta app will also give gamers the ability to easily tweak settings to their liking while simultaneously downloading an update on the console itself. Basically, the app will be another way to perform tasks that have to do with the nitty gritty day to day of the Xbox itself like installing new games, freeing up space, or simply just acting as a remote control.
Finally, the app will also help users manage alerts, chats, parties and other notifications by syncing it with the Xbox. It is completely up to each person as to how they wish to manage these things, but this app will make it very easy to navigate between numerous devices.
This new Microsoft sponsored app is also available on Android tablets. However, there is no word yet on whether or not the same features will be available in the next update for iPhone users too. Industry experts say the addition of remote streaming is an unlikely one with the next iPhone update. This could be something that sways a significant number of iPhone users to alternative options.
The broader picture for Microsoft
It seems that some of these ancillary services will now play an increasingly important role in the launch of any new system in this increasingly portable era of gaming. It certainly couldn’t hurt to have a capable mobile app and ability to access games anywhere these days.
The news of this useful app has come to light shortly following the headlines that Microsoft had acquired ZeniMax, who had been the owner of the prominent game developer, Bethesda. Microsoft also made its new consoles available for pre-order the next day and is preparing for war with Sony this holiday season.
Clearly, all of these moves were calculated and are an attempt by the tech giant to gain as much positive momentum as possible. With all of these recent announcements and perhaps the new remote play feature, Xbox is certainly in a much better position than it was to make waves than even just a few days ago. Looks like its Sony’s turn to grab the headlines somehow.