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Gabe / on Fri, Aug 14 2020 at 12:01 am

Cloud Strife

I like switching up my devices every few years. I’ve been back and forth between Apple and Android a number of times and even had a brief Windows phone stint that I honestly really liked. With that said, I was not thinking about replacing my iPhone X until Apple told me I couldn’t play my Game Pass games on it. The rest of my family had made the switch to Android years ago and never looked back but because I still used an iPad every day for drawing I felt like there was value in having an iPhone as well. Stadia didn’t interest me because they wanted me to buy all my games again on their service which I don't even expect to be around in a couple years. Game Pass on the other hand is tied to my existing Xbox account.

I did some research and decided to get the Samsung S20+. I had a Galaxy Edge years ago that I liked. I’ve only had this phone a few days but I’m impressed with the experience and since my workflow is all Google apps, all I had to do was sign in once and all the stuff I need is ready to go. The phone is very cool but the real reason I bought it was to try out this XCloud action and so the first app I installed was the Game Pass beta. I synced the phone to my Xbox Elite controller and combined them using an inexpensive clip I found on Amazon. Currently the service is in beta and so you only have access to thirty games or so. I pulled up Forza Horizon, hit “play” and watched the loading screen spin up for a few seconds. I don’t know why I had not considered this part already but the next thing it did was grab my fucking save file. Maybe I’m stupid but this part of the service had not even occurred to me yet. Games I already own and have played hours of are available to stream and that time I put in is all still there. I spawned onto the Lego Island in Horizon 4 and was able to pick up right where I left off. Racing felt smooth and the game looked beautiful. Very rarely the game lost a bit of quality or stuttered for a second and I was reminded that it was being streamed, but most of the time it really just felt like a magic trick. 

I’ve gone through a bunch more games now seeing how they all work on the phone and the vast majority of them are great. I’m not sure I want to play Ori with even a hint of delay but other games like Sea of Thieves felt perfectly fine. The games I’ve gravitated towards at the moment are Subnautica and Halo 5, both of which look and play amazing. Subnautica is new for me but its relaxed brand of underwater exploration is perfect for sitting on the couch and chilling while watching some Judge Judy. Halo 5 loaded up my save file and so I was able to go back and restart the campaign. The game is bright, colorful and easy to read even on a small screen. 

I still have more stuff I want to test out. I haven’t played any multiplayer games yet and to me that seems like a real challenge. I also ordered myself a Razer Kishi to try out instead of the clip I’m using now. This seems like a great option but I don’t know if I’ll like it better than just holding my Elite controller. The Kishi will get here tomorrow and I’ll let you know how it goes. Overall I’m really impressed with the service. I hate sounding like a commercial but Game Pass Ultimate is a ridiculously good deal at this point and the cloud streaming stuff is just the magical cherry on top.  

-Gabe out

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