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Xbox Game Pass to let players demo upcoming games, Cloud Gaming to allow streaming titles outside library

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will get access to select titles from the cloud in countries where the feature is supported.

xbox game pass demo
Xbox is the first to announce plans to bring demos to its game subscription service. (Microsoft)

Microsoft will allow Xbox Game Pass members to enjoy demos of upcoming games in what the gaming giant is calling Project Moorcroft.

This is the first time that the company has acknowledged the programme’s existence at Xbox. However, Xbox has not named the titles yet. Project Moorcroft will roll out within the next year. The programme will initially focus on independent developers to give them “more opportunities to get data about, and build excitement for their games”.

Microsoft noted that developers would be “compensated” for the demos. They will also be able to see how the demos perform on Xbox Game Pass.

Xbox Corporate Vice President (Game Creator Experience and Ecosystem) Sarah Bond said in a statement: “When we create different options for creators around how they choose to monetise, we’re giving them more creative freedom at the same time.”

“And we feel that we have a critical role in that, so the more we drive that innovation, the cooler and more innovative games are going to come out of leveraging that innovation.”

Xbox is the first to announce plans to bring demos to its game subscription service. However, main rivals Sony is looking at a similar programme. In late April, a report said Sony had mandated two-hour trials for all upcoming games to bolster the revamped PlayStation Plus offering. The service is likely to cost north of $34 (approx Rs 2,600). However, unlike Microsoft, Sony will not offer “any extra perks”, suggesting that developers would not be compensated for the demos.

XBOX CLOUD GAMING

Microsoft will also support Xbox Cloud Gaming that will allow players to stream games purchased outside the Xbox Game Pass library.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will get access to select titles from the cloud in countries where the feature is supported. Microsoft also announced that the Xbox Cloud Gaming beta was coming to New Zealand and Argentina along with the ability to play Fortnite for free. This takes the total number of countries where Xbox Cloud Gaming is supported to 28.

Microsoft said it intended to allow Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to bring select games that they own or purchased outside the Xbox Game Pass. Xbox Cloud Gaming is currently supported on tablets, phones, PCs, and consoles. Support for streaming games on Samsung Smart TVs is also coming.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said in a statement: “(Xbox Cloud Gaming) should be part of you playing any game on any device, whether it’s a game that you own, whether it’s a free-to-play game: it is really about delivering great game content to any customer on any device through multiple business models.”

Over 10 million players have played a game on Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft recently revealed. It has also partnered with Epic Games for free access to popular free-to-play title Fortnite.

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