Microsoft is working on HD resolution xCloud streaming

Microsoft is working on HD resolution xCloud streaming

Tech giant Microsoft is testing its xCloud streaming service at a higher resolution.

That's according to Windows Central, which reports that while the Big M's cloud games platform currently tops out at 720p, the company is now working on 1080p – aka high definition – streams. This also comes alongside news that Microsoft is upgrading the tech architecture of its xCloud platform from the Xbox One to its recently-released Xbox Series X.

A source shared images to Windows Central showing Ninja Theory's Hellblade running at a 1920x1080 resolution, which looks far more impressive than the 720p that's available right now on Xbox's Game Streaming service. Of course, given that this platform only supports mobile devices, the current lower resolution is arguably less important given the smaller screen sizes of this hardware. xCloud being upgraded to 1080p is also likely laying the groundwork for the service to come to PC.

Microsoft supporting 1080p streaming resolution would bring xCloud in line with cloud games competitor Google, whose Stadia platform supports HD resolutions by default.

The Big M rolled out Xbox Game Streaming in September of last year following a year of beta testing. At the moment, the service only supports mobile devices, but Microsoft is testing xCloud streaming via browsers, with a public trial set to come in the near future. Xbox boss Phil Spencer also said that people would be able to stream Game Pass titles to PC at some point. 

Meanwhile, Google has recently announced the closure of its Stadia Games and Entertainment first-party studios, reportedly due to anxieties about Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda parent ZeniMax.

Fellow tech giant Amazon has also gotten into the streaming game with its own Luna service, though the head of this division has recently left for engine maker Unity.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.