Since the Windows 10 announcement conference back in January of this year, one thing has really buzzed through our minds constantly. The ability for Windows 10 users to stream their Xbox One to any Windows 10 computer, laptop or tablet device. Of course with big promises made can also come many major disappointments and instability. In the last few days Microsoft have granted permissions through and Update to the Windows 10 Preview which allows the Xbox One to be streamed to the Xbox App for Windows 10. Naturally we immediately proceeded to download it and give it a whirl.
First of all a few things to remember. Only Xbox Preview members can use this in conjunction with a computer running the newest beta build of Windows 10. If you don’t have both the function will not work. Also going to the Windows 10 Beta Store to update the Xbox app is also vital in the process. With all that set up and ready to go lets get down to how we feel they have implemented the feature and how has it worked over the last few days. Again this is just an early build and may not reflect the overall finished product.
When features lie this come out at first it is easy for excitement to take hold only to be thrown back in wave of utter disappointment. In this case that hasn’t happened. Game Streaming works really well. Yes we were quite shocked too. It is literally as easy as leaving your Xbox One in Instant On mode. Attaching a controller via USB to the Windows 10 Xbox app and from there you can turn on the device and stream almost in an instant. It takes about 12 seconds from pushing the Stream button to connecting and playing your favourite games and using your Xbox One apps.
The streaming is very fluid. No input delay was an incredible thing to see from the offset. The stream quality has 3 settings which are Low, Medium and High. On a personal level I never drop below High and never have any major issues or drops in connection. For comparison sake I am running with a 200mb fiber internet connection so don’t be disheartened at first to be playing on a lower quality setting as Microsoft will still be optimising the app for all speeds as it advances and comes to full release.
When people talk about major features they sometimes overlook and laugh at streaming. There are many houses out there where soaps dominate the tv domain but this will stop this dead in its tracks. The other night for instance I was in a different room, laptop using HDMI and playing my Xbox One with zero lag in a different room completely in nearly perfect quality without having to move my Xbox as to be fair it is a heavy device especially including the Kinect and Power Brick.
Of course sometimes the app crashes out of nowhere. Sometimes it just won’t find my console on the network or my reception drops and I am left literally with my gaming pants down around my ankles. It is a beta after all and when it launches fully on July 29th with the arrival of WIndows 10 I think it will exceed expectations in every shape and form. For now my little guy is chilling watching cartoons, time to catch up on some of those pesky Witcher side quests 😉