There are a lot of different ways to play PC games on a
big-screen TV, but nearly all of them are dependant on at least
some kind of existing hardware. If your hardware includes a recent
Xbox console, then your options just widened by a huge amount.
Nvidia's GeForce Now, a streaming platform that uses remote
hardware to stream PC games to phones, tablets, and TVs (among
other things), now works on the Edge browser. And because the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S
can run Edge, it works on them, too.
GeForce Now is perhaps the most impressive of the various
options for high-end game streaming on the market, at least in
terms of variety and accessibility. The service streams hundreds of
popular games on several tiers, including a free option. But unlike
Google's Stadia, which asks players to buy games one-by-one, or the
Xbox Game Pass, which takes a Netflix-style subscription approach,
GeForce Now leans on the collection of games that PC players have
already built up. The service allows you to log into existing game
stores — Steam, Epic, GOG, Ubisoft Connect — and access the games
you've already purchased. Not every game from every store is
supported, but the list is over a thousand games long, including over
70 free to play games, and growing every week.
GeForce Now works in Edge on the Xbox the same way it does in a
browser on a PC (or an iOS device). Open the Edge browser and head
to Play.GeForceNow.com and log into the service to try
it out. (You might want to try it on your computer to set up a few
games first.) The system supports playing via the standard Xbox
controller or mouse and keyboard.
Trying out the service on the Xbox One X, The Verge‘s Tom Warren found it a
clunky experience at best. While the visual acuity is impressive,
the extra lag present when playing via the browser and the somewhat
distracting addition of the console-style control cursor means it's
a long way from smooth. Casual games might be playable like this,
but fast-paced multiplayer titles aren't really in the cards.
While the GeForce Now access is neat, it's more of a novelty for
now. Xbox players who want to get their stream on will probably be
inclined to stick with the popular Xbox Game Pass. For $15 a month
it offers unlimited play of a
library of over 400 titles, split between the Xbox and PC. Some
(not all) of those games can be also be streamed to Android, iOS,
and Windows PCs. If you have a gaming PC on the
same local network, you can also stream local PC games to your Xbox
with the Wireless Display app.