Play Gears 5 for free by beta testing Xbox's Project xCloud streaming service


Preview program starts in October

Microsoft has a vision where people can play Xbox games while on their mobile devices. Announced a little less than a year ago, Project xCloudis a pillar of the future of Xbox gaming. It’s a game streaming service that leverages Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure, letting people play Xbox and PC titles on phones and tablets over wifi and mobile networks.

Next month, Microsoft is taking a big step toward turning the future into the present. Project xCloud is entering a public preview program, essentially a slowly growing beta test as Microsoft adds to the user base in order to scale up to increasing demand. The Project xCloud public preview will be available in the United States, United Kingdom, and South Korea. Anyone who’s interested can apply here.

The library for the preview will start small, but with some recent Xbox first-party games that sweeten the deal. Gears 5, Sea of Thieves, Halo 5: Guardians, and Killer Instinct are all available to play in the Project xCloud preview — and they’re all free. Microsoft notes that you don’t need to own any of the content to play them. You just need to be enrolled in the preview to have access. It’s also mentioned that the list of games will be expanded as the beta moves on.

All that’s required to participate in the Project xCloud preview is a phone or tablet with Android 6.0 or higher, a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controller, and a Microsoft account. Further, there are no restrictions on which mobile services have access; they’ll all be compatible with the preview. (But, you should be aware of your data cap. Streaming something like Gears 5will chew through data.) There’s no designated end to the beta either, as Microsoft says “The preview will continue until customers are consistently reporting a great, fun experience and the technology meets our internal quality standards.”