Microsoft’s Project xCloud, the newest cloud streaming gaming service, is launching with an impressive library of games. The service is being bundled with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, making well over 100 games available on mobile devices with Project xCloud’s launch. But among the items required to use Project xCloud is a Bluetooth-compatible Xbox Controller – something that many Xbox One users may not realize they don’t have.
Project xCloud is the latest cloud gaming service to officially enter the marketplace. But whereas rival streaming service Google Stadia faced criticism for a lackluster roster of games, Project xCloud has 172 games available at launch, ranging from The Outer Worlds to Untitled Goose Game. Project xCloud will only be available on Android devices, as Apple is intentionally making it difficult for gaming streaming services to function on ioS devices.
But while gamers are going through the checklist of what they need to start streaming games to their mobile devices, there’s one item they shouldn’t overlook: whether or not they have an Xbox controller with Bluetooth. Since Xbox controllers connect wirelessly to consoles, some may assume their controller will easily transfer to the Project xCloud service. But the original controllers that shipped with Xbox Ones don’t actually contain Bluetooth. Microsoft has released an image (below) to help players determine whether or not their controller will work with Project xCloud, but specifies that the “Original controller accompanying the Xbox One console or the original Xbox Elite Wireless Controller” are not Bluetooth ready.
This news might come as a blow to gamers who have been happily playing for years on the original Xbox One-model controller. Upgrading to a Bluetooth controller can be a pricey proposition, easily costing $60 for a standard controller and well over $150 for an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. Those who have bought the Xbox One X or an Xbox One S should have received controllers with Bluetooth, as well as those who bought an Xbox Design Lab controller. But gamers of original Xbox One may need to decide if Project xCloud is worth investing in a brand-new controller.
There is, of course, another option for Xbox One owners who lack the right controller: wait to upgrade to the Xbox Series X. The next-gen console, which launches in November 2020, will come with Bluetooth controllers that will work with Project xCloud. Those planning to upgrade to the new console anyway might be better off waiting to dive into Project xCloud until they have the newest controller in hand. In the meantime, gamers do have a few options of games that will offer touch controls, like Gears 5 and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, with the feature expected to come to more games in the coming months.
Next: Project xCloud: What You Need to Use the Service
Project xCloud launches on September 15th, 2020.