Overview of Xbox Game Streaming
Windows 10 is finally out!. If you have not gotten Windows 10 use this link to get the free upgrade before it expires: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-upgrade. Windows 10 introduces Xbox Game Streaming, could this give me flexible to game anywhere in my house? I have tried on multiple devices and have been pleased with the results.
The following are required to stream Xbox One Games.
- Xbox One
- A Windows 10 PC or tablet
- A decent Network
- Xbox One or Xbox 360 controler
I completed my testing on the following devices:
- Surface 3 Pro
- Asus VioTab Note 8
- Custom Build Gaming Desktop
Testing Results Per Device
First the Asus VioTab Note 8. I tried on here because I thought there would be no way an ATOM based proc could hang with a 1080p game streaming over wireless. I plugged in the xbox 360 controler with the usb adaptder and away we went. It was not great but it did work and was completely playable at medium quality. The main issue is the 8 inch screen, I need to build a holder into a ball cap and this thing would be perfect. If this is the only option you have(cheap) then may be worth trying it out. I have not gone back and used this just because I have other options in my house.
The Surface Pro 3 feels like it was designed for this. At high quality there are almost no issues. I am able to stream with just a minor hit to quality. I can plug my Xbox 360 controler right in the USB without an adapter and away we go. I been using my wife’s Surface for this testing, this alone has motivated me to buy the next generation when it is released(hopefully this year).
Use Case:When the kids turn on some really bad cartoon or my wife starts watching some reality show I immediately reach for the Surface. I pull the keyboard off plug my headphones and the 360 controller in and start escaping the world of bad tv. I do have a dual band wireless router and the stream look much better using that over the single band. This does seem to limit my range so I have not done much streaming/gaming outside. As the weather gets cooler I will start testing my range.
The final test was on my gaming desktop. I will not go into wall the specifics but it can run all modern games without issue. The other advantage to this PC is it is hardwired into the network. I can push this PC to very high quality without seeing much in loss of quality. On this setup I use the Xbox One Controler wirelessly since the Xbox One is in the same room.
Use Case: I have a pair of nice Asus 24inch monitors that allows me to play games on one and still have access to the world on the second. I still have the option to go sit on a couch and play on a larger screen but I find myself playing off the this streamed PC more often.
Open the new Xbox application on your Windows 10 workstations. You can turn on the Xbox from the first screen. My first time through I needed to add the IP address of the Xbox. Once added it was always in the list. To turn on the Xbox I believe you need to be in the sleep mode on the Xbox, I do not think you can power it up from a full shutdown. This feature is extremely nice when you are in a different room of the house and want to quickly get some gaming in.
It takes about 30 seconds to power up and for the application to notice there is a valid Xbox online
Once online you can get to the settings of the steam by moving your mouse to the top of the screen. The buttons from left to right are a xbox button, mute, stop streaming, stats and quality.
The stats button is worth pressing to troubleshoot any issues you are having. This can be turned on and left on while you are streaming content. If you run into issues drop you quality on the qutility selector. The lowest I needed to go was medium which was till playable but looked like a 360 game.
Things That Need to be Improved
I only have 3 real complaints or things that should be improved.
- Sometimes you lose focus when you click on your second screen. When you come back to the streaming session it asks for you to reconnect.
- I do not like the prompt to connect a controller if I do not have one plugged into the Windows 10 workstation. I often connect the Xbox One controller to the console and do not need this prompt.
- The Scan for new Xbox One does not work very well. I had to manually put in a ip address. I only needed to do this once but it would be nice to never have to do it in the future.
Xbox Game Steaming works and works very well. I will continue to use this to avoid bad TV in my house. Maybe one day I could be sitting by a camp fire with Master Chief and a beer. If you have any additional comments or questions feel free to follow up in the comments section of this post.