Cloud gaming arrives for PC and iOS with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in spring 2021

By Heidi Nicholas,
The Microsoft Gaming team has shared some stats for recent player engagement, as well as more details on its plans for cloud gaming next year.

player engagement

As the image above shows, Microsoft is celebrating "record engagement on Xbox" following the launch of the Xbox Series X|S. Jerret West, CVP of Microsoft Gaming, says over on the latest Xbox Wire post that the monthly engagement for Xbox Game Pass last month was double that of the previous November. Last month also saw gamers amassing billions of hours on their consoles, and playing over 3,800 games. West adds that there were over 1.6 million Smart Delivery upgrades for those playing Xbox Series X|S, while more than 40% of those "joining Xbox for the first time" did so with an Xbox Series S.

Looking ahead to the future, meanwhile, West says that "expanding Xbox to new players is central to our ambition of helping games and developers find an easy path to the world’s 3 billion gamers... In Spring 2021, we will take the next step in our journey to reach more players around the world by making cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate available on Windows PCs through the Xbox app and browser, and iOS devices through mobile web browser." Cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will also become available in new markets, such as Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

The post also finishes up with a reminder on some of the games that will be available on Xbox Game Pass next year, including Halo Infinite, Psychonauts 2, The Ascent, Scorn, Skatebird, Dead Static Drive, and The Good Life, as well as The Medium, The Gunk, Warhammer 40K: Darktide, Exomecha, and Shredders, which will be available as console launch exclusives. Although we already knew to expect these on Xbox Game Pass in 2021, it's still good to see such a promising list.

West closes the post with a thank-you to Xbox players, and a reminder to stay tuned to The Game Awards for "more surprises." It's not too clear what we could expect tomorrow, as Xbox's Aaron Greenberg also said, "while we have a couple moments in the show, I would dial expectations way down versus speculation I am seeing, especially how big we went last year!" Either way, we'll be sure to bring you any major updates when The Game Awards begins tomorrow. Xbox's Phil Spencer, meanwhile, also chimed in on Twitter to say thank-you to players.

Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've been a staff writer for TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies since 2019. I love open-worlders, RPGs, and fantasy games, am obsessed with tea, and forever loyal to The Witcher 3 and Red Dead 2.