Microsoft is starting to open up its xCloud game streaming beta to countries across Europe. The software giant originally launched the xCloud preview in the US, UK, and Korea back in September, and it’s expanding to Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden.
Anyone in these countries can now sign up for the Android version of xCloud, but Microsoft appears to be taking a careful approach to when people will actually get access due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “We know gaming is an important way for people to remain connected, particularly during these times of social distancing, but we also recognize how internet bandwidth has been impacted with strain on regional networks as large volumes of people responsibly stay home and go online,” explains Catherine Gluckstein, head of product for Project xCloud.
Microsoft is taking a “measured approach to help conserve internet access, beginning the preview in each market with a limited number of people and adding more participants over time.” If you’re interested in signing up for the xCloud preview then registration is now open for the 11 European countries over at Microsoft’s xCloud site.
Microsoft is still planning to launch xCloud more broadly later this year, but Gluckstein did warn in an interview with The Verge last year that “not all countries where we’re previewing will definitely launch” the xCloud service. Microsoft also recently started testing xCloud for iPhone and iPad devices, but the company says it has had to restrict and limit testing to a single game “to comply with App Store policies.”