Saturday, September 25, 2021

Playing Xbox Cloud Gaming on a smartwatch is the best and dumbest thing ever

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You can play Xbox Cloud Gaming titles on a smartwatch, and it’s just as cool as it is impractical.

DAWO demonstrated the setup being used to play both Forza Horizon 4 and Slay the Spire – one handed, of course, since the other arm is being used to hold up the watch. Theoretically you could play any of the streaming titles available with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, assuming you don’t mind playing them with about a postage stamp’s worth of screen real estate.

The tremendous discovery was made by user DAWO, who shared their findings on Korean online platform Naver. In the accompanying video you can see how the process of playing Xbox Cloud Gaming on this particular Android smartwatch works: first you point your tiny little browser to the standard Xbox Cloud Gaming site, then you pick a game, then you start to play said game on the appropriately tiny 8BitDo controller you have synced up with your watch over Bluetooth.

Would you actually want to play any games this way? Almost definitely not, but a) it’s fun and b) it’s a powerful demonstration of what Xbox Cloud Gaming being playable in browsers really means. Microsoft is pushing hard to make Xbox games playable everywhere, and that includes on your wrist if the mood strikes you. I’m looking forward to this becoming the new “it runs Doom” test as people around the world begin to play Gears 5 on their smart refrigerators and thermostats.

Xbox Cloud Gaming is just one part of a new renaissance of on-the-go gaming: there’s also Valve’s new Steam Deck, which is bringing PC gaming (and the open customization that entails) to handheld devices starting in December; the Nintendo Switch OLED model will refresh the console that arguably kicked off this handheld renaissance with a vibrant new screen; and we can’t forget Playdate, the bespoke indie system that features a crank and a bundled-in season of games. There’s never been a better time to play big games on little screens.

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  • Playing Xbox Cloud Gaming on a smartwatch is the best and dumbest thing ever
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