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Shaksaw

Xbox 360 & Original Xbox Games Can Now Be Played On Android Devices

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The Xbox team is expanding its already impressive backward compatibility options thanks to cloud gaming, as Game Pass Ultimate members can now play classic Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles on Android devices. Game Pass Ultimate continues to increase in value; needless to say, the cloud gaming beta has played a major part in such growth over the last several months.

Xbox's xCloud streaming beta kicked off in the back half of last year, providing Game Pass Ultimate subscribers with access to their games across various devices. Better yet, the cloud aspect of the service comes at no extra cost to players. It's an ambitious initiative on Microsoft's part. Akin to Google Stadia, xCloud users don't download games onto their devices; instead, games are streamed from Microsoft servers, which have apparently put the Azure Cloud architecture to good use. The power of the Azure Cloud is now enabling Xbox's streaming service to further expand its horizons.

An Xbox Wire post outlines the new features that Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can take advantage of thanks to the cloud. Starting today, members who own Android smartphones or tablets can stream 16 games from the original Xbox and Xbox 360 catalogues. More classic titles will join the service, but Xbox cloud gaming on Android currently supports the following: Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Double Dragon Neon, Fable II, Fallout: New Vegas, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, Gears of War: Judgment, Jetpac Refuelled, Kameo, Perfect Dark, Perfect Dark Zero, The Elder Across III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Viva Piñata, and Viva Piñata: TIP.

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Such a move has essentially turned mobile devices into retro gaming machines, courtesy of clouding gaming and backward compatibility. The timing of the announcement seems rather shrewd as well, given Sony's controversial decision to shutter the online storefronts for PSP, PS3, and PS Vita. PSP and PS3 stores are scheduled to close this coming July, while the Vita's storefront will limp along until late August.

Strangely, of the big three console manufacturers, Microsoft seems the most interested in preserving its legacy titles. It's especially interesting when considering Nintendo and Sony both have stronger back catalogues in terms of quantity and quality. Here's to hoping the latter two companies take a note from Xbox's book and greatly expand upon existing backward compatibility options.

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