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Google Stadia vs. Microsoft xCloud: The battle for cloud gaming

Here's everything we know so far about the two game-streaming services.

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Stadia xCloud

What gaming service will dominate the cloud?

Google and Microsoft

Cloud gaming is here, and two streaming services, Google Stadia and Microsoft Project xCloud, are taking the lead. Stadia launched on Nov. 19; Microsoft began its xCloud preview in September. 

Google is a relative newcomer to the gaming industry compared with powerhouse Microsoft. It's taking a different approach from the Xbox maker by considering its service a platform of its own that provides a means to play games without the need for a console or a gaming PC. Microsoft, on the other hand, is using Project xCloud as an extension of its console. 

Here's a quick comparison of the two services:

Stadia vs. xCloud


Stadia Project xCloud
Cost $129 for Stadia Founder's Edition w/ Destiny 2
$10/month for Stadia Pro (2 free games per month)
$20-$60 for each game
Service and games free during preview
Number of games 23 with one exclusive 92 games with four exclusives
Current compatible devices TVs with Chromecast Ultra
Pixel phones
Laptops and desktops (running Chrome, or using a Chromebook)
Phones running Android 6.0 or greater with Bluetooth version 4.0+
Compatible controllers Stadia Controller
PlayStation 4 DualShock 4
Xbox One controller
Xbox Adaptive Controller
Mouse and Keyboard
PlayStation 4 DualShock 4
Xbox One controller
Some Bluetooth controllers
Streaming quality 4K resolution gaming with high-speed internet, but lowers to 720p resolution with slower internet speeds 720p resolution

What's coming

Stadia still has a ways to go before all the features originally announced by Google will be fully implemented. There are also more major titles coming in 2020. The Stadia team says 120 games will be released on the platform this year. 

Microsoft has plans to release more features for xCloud as it continues its preview in 2020. The company already revealed that its cloud gaming service will be an integral part of its next console, the Xbox Series X, which means it could officially launch at the same time as the console. 

Here's a rundown of what's coming to both services:

Stadia vs. xCloud - The Future

Stadia xCloud
Stream Connect Integration with Xbox Games pass
Crowd Play Support for Windows 10 PCs
Family sharing Xbox 360, original Xbox compatibility
A free version of Stadia with lower stream quality and no free games Touchscreen support
Support for more Android devices

Latest games as of 2/21

Stadia:

xCloud:

Originally published on Dec. 21 and updated when new information is released.