Microsoft will let Xbox One owners play next-gen Xbox games through its xCloud service. The news was buried in a blog post recapping Microsoft’s Xbox + Bethesda showcase, with the company confirming plans to leverage Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) for Xbox One consoles. That means the 2013 hardware will be able to play Xbox Series X exclusive games from 2021 — extending the lifecycle of what would normally soon be obsolete boxes.

“For the millions of people who play on Xbox One consoles today, we are looking forward to sharing more about how we will bring many of these next-gen games, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, to your console through Xbox Cloud Gaming, just like we do with mobile devices, tablets, and browsers,” says Will Tuttle, editor in chief of Microsoft’s Xbox Wire.

Microsoft is launching xCloud for consoles later this year

Until now, Microsoft had only described xCloud on consoles as a way for players to “try [games] before you download,” but it’s clear the company sees the service as offering much more. Microsoft originally announced Microsoft Flight Simulator as an Xbox One title, before quietly removing references to the Xbox One launch in December. Microsoft recently confirmed Flight Simulator will now launch on Xbox Series X / S consoles on July 27th.

It’s not clear when xCloud game streaming will be available on Xbox One consoles, though. It’s unlikely to be ready in time for the July launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Microsoft’s head of cloud gaming, Kareem Choudhry, previously said xCloud will be integrated into consoles “later this year.”

xCloud availability will provide a welcome boost for Xbox One consoles, particularly as Microsoft is upgrading its server blades to run Xbox Series X hardware later this month. It will give this older hardware a way to play upcoming titles like Starfield, which, like Flight Simulator, will also launch exclusively on the new Xbox Series X / S consoles.

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