There is no doubt that the big players in the gaming industry believe that the future of gaming lies in streaming. Microsoft, Google, and even Electronic Arts are working on game streaming platforms. While EA began testing their platform a few weeks ago, Microsoft has been holding out on public testing of Project xCloud. That is until now, as the company has officially announced the beginning of their public platform test for October.
The testing is open to gamers in the United States or the United Kingdom and registration is open now. To register, you must have a compatible Android device (phone or tablet), a Bluetooth 4 compatible Xbox One controller (2nd generation controller), and a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection or equivalent LTE or 5G connection. Just because you register and have all of the prerequisites does not mean that you will be chosen for this first round of testing, but don't worry - more rounds will be coming.
In the first phase, they will be testing just the cloud streaming capabilities, though the page does mention upcoming testing of the console streaming feature. As the testing will focus on the cloud capabilities, the available games will be limited in scope, with only a few big Xbox titles being on the menu: Halo 5: Guardians, Gears 5, Killer Instinct, and Sea of Thieves. These games represent a variety of gameplay, as well as a variety of release dates. Killer Instinct was released in 2013, while Gears 5 came out this month.
The variety of gameplay styles and release dates could be to test different aspects of the platform. For example, the game ages could be in an attempt to test rendering stress and data usage, while the gameplay styles could be an attempt to test the latency of commands in both directions. All of these aspects are important to test, especially at this point in development.