Project xCloud is now called Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate… really

Microsoft’s inability to give anything they make a sensible name has thrown up a new classic, with a bizarrely awful replacement for xCloud.

Now that their prices have been revealed the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are looking like very tempting prospects that, combined with Game Pass, offer a degree of value for money that Sony are going to struggle to match.

There’s just one problem: their names are terrible. They’re a mouthful, their initials aren’t cool or memorable, and the most common abbreviation is to just not say the Xbox part. There’s also the fact that the names are almost identical to the current gen Xbox One X and Xbox One S.

Project xCloud was pretty neat though, the codename that Microsoft gave to their cloud gaming service, but it was only a codename and now it’s real name has been revealed as: Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Yeah.

The needless confusion created by the next gen console names was highlighted today in the responses to a tweet from IGN, explaining that the Xbox Series S cannot run the optimised versions of Xbox One X games.

IGN’s description was perfectly accurate, but the jumble of near identical names proved incomprehensible for anyone but hardcore gamers.

And it’s not just console names either, consider Smart Delivery – a fantastic service that ensures that you only have to buy a game once and then you get it automatically upgraded if you get a new console and want to play it on that.

But how is that in anyway communicated by the phrase ‘Smart Delivery’?

Anyway… xCloud, as we’re going to continue to refer to it as, is really good and it launches tomorrow with more than 150 games.

The service was impressive even when we tested the beta back in November and now includes a wide range of big name first party games including Forza Horizon 4, Grounded, and Tell Me Why, as well as third party and indie titles such as Destiny 2, Untitled Goose Game, and Spiritfarer.

It’s even closer to being the Netflix of gaming than Game Pass alone, as being a cloud streaming service you can play the games on any compatible Android device, although, thanks to Apple’s pedantry, not on iOS.

Xbox Game Pass and xCloud were combined back in July, which means you can sign up for a free £1 trial and try it out tomorrow, 15 September, for next to nothing.

The full list of games is here, while new games will be added all the time – although it’s not yet clear if they’ll sometimes also be removed as well, as happens with Game Pass (and Netflix).

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