Microsoft is taking cloud gaming by storm with the introduction of Project xCloud. The new cloud gaming program debuted on September 15th for Xbox Game Pass users. I finally got my hands on this program, and so far, I have not been disappointed. Luckily for me, I had my hands-on with the new MOGA XP5-X Plus Bluetooth Controller from Power A. Not joking; that’s actually the name of the controller. Now unlucky for me, however, is being an Apple user. Unfortunately, Apple fans, this technology will not be in the palm of our hands yet. Hopefully, with crossed fingers, Microsoft will expand this program to its competition. Let’s hope. Not all hope was lost for me, however, as I borrowed my friend’s Essential PH-1 to help in this impression. Thank you, Brian.
However, we are missing out despite being an Apple user because xCloud is “Xcellent.” The fact that I was holding an Xbox game in my hands was breathtaking. It takes a few adjustments, but anyone with a decent Android phone will be satisfied with this experience. I mostly played Forza Horizon 4 to test the program’s capabilities, and it did not disappoint. Especially with the MOGA XP5-X Plus Bluetooth Controller, making things a lot easier to handle within the controls. The controller is available for an affordable $69.99. I will be breaking down some aspects I experience using xCloud and the Bluetooth controller.
What Is xCloud and Introduction Into Cloud Gaming
(Image source: Windows Central)
Let’s start with a basic introduction to what exactly is “xCloud?” Well, xCloud or Project xCloud is a new program introduced by Microsoft to play Xbox games on a mobile device. Meaning if you possess an Android-powered smartphone and are an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, you can utilize this feature. It’s an excellent way to play on the go. It’s also convenient because you can use an LTE or 5G network to play even without WiFi. Be aware that not every game on Xbox Game Pass will be available on xCloud, but you do have first-party staples like Forza, Gears, and Halo series available from the jump.
xCloud is another addition to the cloud gaming market. Cloud gaming is essentially streaming games instead of installing games on a hard drive as a traditional console would. So far, these services have been popularized through Google Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now. Xbox is a little bit late to the party. However, xCloud brings a lot to the table, with seamless integration to mobile devices and support of Game Pass. I can honestly say Xbox Game Pass is one of the best values on the market today. Along with PC and Xbox console support with mobile technology, Microsoft is giving gamers opportunities to game virtually anywhere. I am personally excited about the future of this program.
Let’s Talk About The MOGA XP5-X Plus Controller
I can talk all day about Project xCloud and the wonders it brings to my friend’s smartphone (Not mine. I’m an Apple User.) However, gaming would not be as easy to game on a mobile device without a controller. Now, I am a controller fantastic at times, but this something I have never seen before. Power A did an excellent job of separating themselves from traditional Xbox controllers. How did they do that, you ask? Well, the versatility of the controller that stands out. The MOGA XP5-X Plus Bluetooth Controller connects easily to your phone and contains an adjustable gaming clip that helps position your phone to your liking. Not only is the controller a Bluetooth controller, but it also works as a USB functioning controller if you prefer.
I played with both the USB and Bluetooth functions, and I prefer the USB with more added security and response time, but the Bluetooth works fine. However, a massive benefit of using the Bluetooth function is you can plug your phone into your controller and charge it up through the controller’s internal power bank. That is truly awesome to witness because, so far, there is no standard controller-style accessory on the market that offers that support.
There are other peripherals for xCloud that you could use, such as the Razer Kishi Controller, which also a good option if you prefer a similar play style to a Nintendo Switch. I still choose this option because it’s essentially an Xbox controller in your hands and fits better if you play Xbox games. The controller also contains mappable buttons for flexibility. Do note that this is a PC and mobile-only accessory, so it will not work on your Xbox.
So Should You Have Interest In xCloud?
Well, it depends. I will dabble into cloud gaming with xCloud because it is very accessible. For a lot of people, xCloud could be available right now. There are three main components: An Android-powered smartphone, an xCloud gaming accessory, and Xbox Game Pass. It’s a three-step process, but it’s cool and innovative. If anything, you are spending less than $100 to experience this unique program, with xCloud added in. Not everything is perfect; nothing ever is with gaming. You could face latency issues depending on the factors of the internet or network. I didn’t have problems with the controller, but then again, I utilize the majority of the time on USB mode instead of Bluetooth.
Also, a good note is that be prepared to have a phone with a good battery because xCloud could quickly zap your battery. Results may vary depending on the phone, but it is something to be aware of. That is where the MOGA XP5-X helps out with its integrated power bank that can extend playtime. There are not many peripherals out there currently for xCloud, because it’s still relatively new, but if you want to get a jump on the bandwagon, I would recommend the MOGA XP5-X. The option being the Razer Kishi Controller, which does have functionalities of the MOGA, but feels more like playing a Nintendo Switch than an actual Xbox controller.
Like it or not, cloud gaming is on the rise, and Microsoft is taking a great approach to this new style of playing games. I would recommend you give it a try. I feel xCloud is something special, and I look forward to the future of gaming.
What do you think about xCloud and cloud gaming? Leave your comments below.