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We now have yet another serious entry into cloud gaming / game streaming with Microsoft formally launching Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) for everyone with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and it works out of the box on Linux.

Testing with Chrome, Chromium, Edge and Firefox - they all work, although the experiences differs. Firefox, for example, works but it's pretty much a slideshow and so completely unplayable in my testing. Anything Chromium-based however, appears to perform quite well.


Pictured - Rainbow Six Siege on Linux with xCloud

As someone who uses cloud gaming quite often, I've been really impressed with the technical side of Stadia overall. A little less so with GeForce NOW (GFN) as the game performance varies wildly there and so I was keen to try out Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) but sadly, it's currently pretty laughable. The games look quite good and seem to perform well enough but wow — that is some serious input lag. For cloud gaming, input lag is one of the biggest issues and Stadia / GFN have it down quite nicely but here Xbox Cloud Gaming has problems.

Often with Stadia, i can hardly tell it's not local. There is some input lag (there of course will always be some), but not noticeable enough to make the experience poor but here it's ridiculous. Even with Microsoft's upgrade to it using custom Xbox Series X hardware, and likely more server capacity for the wider rollout, the experience just isn't worth it. I could hold up a gamepad to the screen, push a stick or press a button and physically see things happen after, moving the camera in any first/third-person game felt awful.

Pictured - Rainbow Six Siege on Linux with xCloud

To ensure it wasn't a Linux problem, I double-checked on a Windows 10 install and no difference just to make sure it wasn't to do with some video acceleration issues. This was also tested across multiple different games, all felt just as bad with the input problems.

The picture quality is problematic here too. Very noticeable pixelation / artifacting when moving around a lot, which isn't seen on other services. Considering my internet line is direct to my router, on a ~550Mbps connection (the minimum they list is 10Mbps) - not good.

What's the takeaway? Well, it works out of the box across multiple browsers on Linux. Works but not exactly playable in my testing and so not worth looking into yet until Microsoft sort out the input lag issues. However, there's a big but here - but this may depend on where you are, some of you might see a much better experience - this is the big problem with cloud gaming that it needs to overcome. You can try it yourself on Xbox.com/Play.

So we now have Stadia, GeForce NOW and Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) that all work without any tweaks needed on Linux. Amazon Luna is the next, which is currently in a much more limited Beta but last we checked it needed browser overrides otherwise it prevents playing on Linux. The future of cloud gaming is already looking busy, as (internet / country permitting), it's another way to break down some barriers for those without powerful PCs.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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33 comments
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Eike 1 Jul
Quoting: LoftyThe context of the article is to replace traditional high end PC or console gaming via streaming at a low/no net loss to what we have now.

No matter how high end your PC is now - it won't be in some years. That's when it makes sense to check if it's worth to invest one or even two thousand bucks, not when you just bought a new one. (I don't say the answer is clear, just that the question makes sense.)
Quoting: LoftyGames as a service probably will be the future but that doesn't make it a better future. Well, of course neither is movie or music streaming as technically the quality is worse than what came before it (at least for now). Sure you have endlessly more content but is it quality or just mountains of easily accessible mediocre quantity. In the end the lowest common denominator will win out when hardware prices become too prohibitive for people to purchase.
Im not against the concept of cloud streaming, just the predatory business models that are set to roll out once enough people have moved over to that technology.
When movies-on-demand first started up, I was actually kind of excited. I figured it would be like the ultimate video store--access to any movie you want, new ones, old ones, foreign ones, obscure ones . . . I mean, why not? One download costs what one download costs, and the other prices, like copyright fees, are arbitrary, so I figured they'd just scale them so all the movies could be hosted.

So instead we get Netflix. Which I've heard is not nearly as crappy in the US as it is in Canada. But in Canada it's like one of those totally middle-of-the-road video stores with nothing that isn't mainstream, totally enforcing blandness. Or Youtube, which will now rent you movies ... but half the time it doesn't work. Or there's other stuff on the internet, but it's kind of hiding. A couple of times lately I have been seriously getting nostalgic about, not even really good video stores ' cause I live in the burbs so we never had those, but fairly decent video stores, with a decent size selection beyond the blockbusters, things to stumble on . . . sometimes I feel like the video on demand era is just another version of ten thousand channels of TV, nothing on.

As to music, although I mostly still listen to my CDs and radio, I have to admit that for consumers it's been pretty good. It's sucked all the money out of the artists though.
Lofty 1 Jul
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: LoftyThe context of the article is to replace traditional high end PC or console gaming via streaming at a low/no net loss to what we have now.

No matter how high end your PC is now - it won't be in some years. That's when it makes sense to check if it's worth to invest one or even two thousand bucks, not when you just bought a new one. (I don't say the answer is clear, just that the question makes sense.)

True, which is why i cede in my post that in the end if prices of hardware do not level out then it is a forgone conclusion that streaming will the be only way for people to game. And the control that gives others over your hobby is not something that most people will look back and say that was a good thing imo. But then again in time you will have entire generations who never knew any different.

(not me tho, as im fine to move to a low powered ARM SOC and play only FOSS & retro games if the alternatives are monthly subscriptions to 10 different cloud gaming platforms with ad littered, 'tiered' access to privileged content )


Last edited by Lofty on 1 July 2021 at 7:58 pm UTC
Swiftpaw 1 Jul
That's right kids, now you can let corporations abuse you even more, today!

1) STREAM your games, because you don't own them, especially when your Internet is down!

2) HOPE that Microsoft doesn't make all non-Edge browsers shit because then you're doubly up shit creek on Linux!

3) HELP fund one of the main corporations responsible for strangling Linux and Linux gaming! They might not be able to kill Linux entirely, but that won't stop them from buying exclusives, monopolizing everything as much as they can, stuffing DRM and microtransactions into everything, and generally being capitalistic pieces of shit!


Last edited by Swiftpaw on 1 July 2021 at 8:54 pm UTC
Lofty 1 Jul
Quoting: SwiftpawThat's right kids, now you can let corporations abuse you even more, today!

Don't forget point number 4) which is to buy up viable opensource hardware companies (like intel interested in buying SiFive / RISC-V ) effectively crushing any competition.


Last edited by Lofty on 3 July 2021 at 2:03 pm UTC
QuoteAnything Chromium-based however, appears to perform quite well.

sad...firefox is being ignored

also, no cloud gaming service is currently supported in my country,not even stadia.They seem to like only european and N.american players.


Last edited by trackmasters39181 on 2 July 2021 at 5:45 am UTC
14 2 Jul
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Quoting: CaenthThe only reason game companies chase streaming is because of piracy and consoles being too expensive.
Only reason? I'd say it's because they can get more profit out of a subscription model, following other streaming media providers like Netflix and Hulu. You never stop paying for it. Plus, they can nab the customers that only want to subscribe for a few months or a year or two who would not invest $600 into a console. So they should get more casuals that wouldn't have considered it otherwise.
Lofty 3 Jul
Quoting: 14So they should get more casuals that wouldn't have considered it otherwise.

I think the casual game market thing is a bit of an overblown sentiment. What even are casual gamers these days ? Pretty much anyone has access to a mobile , console or PC(laptop) to game at a high enough level. There are AAA titles on Mobile now that are super popular and have way more players than PC. In developing nations they seem to have pretty decent phones too, better than my flip phone :P but great internet speed is something only a relative minority of people have even in the west.


On the topic of it making games exploit proof, it won't. Most games these days the customer is the beta tester, they are continually patched until dropped which leads to game bugs and that will still happen with the cloud because of new content patches & deadlines. And if people can't write scripts to hack they will just do it the old fashioned way and find exploits in the game, which just becomes whack-a-mole when your last update created another flaw. Not only that there are other ways in which games can be ruined outside of cheats like griefing / trolling. Cloud gaming won't stop cheating.

As you rightly said, the literal only purpose of cloud streaming (as nobody asked for it) is to lock people into endless subscriptions and transactions. The side benefit might be unbreakable DRM, but i see this as a carrot to lead developers into that business model. It will lock them into that same system, which is a shame as many games don't even require DRM. Is the kind of person who pirates a game going to pay out $$ a month on an entire cloud subscription just so they can get that game ? I thought people mainly pirate because of financial reasons in the first place.

Has anybody considered Cloud gaming might have an opposite chilling effect on the game market. I know that once netflix came along i almost entirely stopped watching movies as my local 'rent-a-DVD' market shut down overnight. I occasionally watch a Blueray or something on TV if i catch it on, Sometimes a streaming site might be playing a free movie. But il never be a netflix customer, and given the creeping price hikes im glad im not. This is what market capture does, it locks the customer into an ever worsening deal.
Quoting: LoftyI know that once netflix came along i almost entirely stopped watching movies as my local 'rent-a-DVD' market shut down overnight. I occasionally watch a Blueray or something on TV if i catch it on, Sometimes a streaming site might be playing a free movie. But il never be a netflix customer, and given the creeping price hikes im glad im not. This is what market capture does, it locks the customer into an ever worsening deal.
You know where you can still get DVDs? Libraries. And they lend for free, for longer than the stores ever did. If you can get access to a university library, I know mine has a surprisingly good selection . . . but even my local public library has quite a few, plus access to the stuff from a wide network of libraries including the great big city centre one.
Libraries are one of the last bastions of resistance to the agenda of information wanting to be hoarded.
14 10 Jul
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Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: LoftyI know that once netflix came along i almost entirely stopped watching movies as my local 'rent-a-DVD' market shut down overnight. I occasionally watch a Blueray or something on TV if i catch it on, Sometimes a streaming site might be playing a free movie. But il never be a netflix customer, and given the creeping price hikes im glad im not. This is what market capture does, it locks the customer into an ever worsening deal.
You know where you can still get DVDs? Libraries. And they lend for free, for longer than the stores ever did. If you can get access to a university library, I know mine has a surprisingly good selection . . . but even my local public library has quite a few, plus access to the stuff from a wide network of libraries including the great big city centre one.
Libraries are one of the last bastions of resistance to the agenda of information wanting to be hoarded.
I've maintained my Netflix DVD (blu-ray) plan for years. I don't like the video compression over streaming when I want to watch a movie (don't care so much about TV series). But I did recently notice that the return address is no longer in my local city; it's across the country. Makes me worried I'll lose my dependable quality and avoid any compression and buffering.
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