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Xbox cautiously rolling out Project xCloud preview in Western Europe

Registrations now open, streaming service will arrive when internet infrastructure is not overwhelmed due to coronavirus

Xbox has shared details of its plans to bring the preview version of its games streaming service Project xCloud to Europe -- but, as is everything else these days, it's largely dependent on measures to fight COVID-19.

As announced back in November, Project xCloud is heading to Western Europe this year and Microsoft has now specified the first 11 countries due to receive it.

These include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

However, in a blog post the platform holder emphasised that it will be rolling this out cautiously to avoid adding even more stress to internet infrastructure caused by the pandemic.

"We know gaming is an important way for people to remain connected, particularly during these times of social distancing, but we also recognize how internet bandwidth has been impacted with strain on regional networks as large volumes of people responsibly stay home and go online," wrote Project xCloud's general manager and head of product Catherine Gluckstein.

She added: "With that in mind, we continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation and will begin rolling out the Project xCloud preview across 11 Western European countries when we are confident it is sensible to do so. We will take a measured approach to help conserve internet access, beginning the preview in each market with a limited number of people and adding more participants over time."

Registrations are now open to Android users in the 11 preview markets. Players will receive a notification email when the system is ready to try.

The decision to hold back and wait for smoother internet is also likely part of Xbox's efforts to avoid the mixed reception Google Stadia received when it launched last year.

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