Microsoft is preparing to launch its xCloud game streaming service soon this year as part of the Xbox Game Pass. This service will initially be powered by Xbox One S consoles on Microsoft’s database servers, but major software plans to upgrade this Hardware next year. Microsoft’s official sources and programs tell Verge that testing has begun on xCloud upgraded servers, and that Microsoft is still trying out dedicated PC servers for streaming PC games over xCloud.

Microsoft will be implementing its new Xbox Series X on XCloud servers next year, and is offering some great benefits for its cloud streaming efforts, especially on the CPU side. This next-gen processor is extremely powerful and has the ability to run four Xbox One S game sessions simultaneously. It also includes a new video encoder that is up to six times faster than the current encoder used by Microsoft on existing xCloud servers.

Microsoft’s experiments with xCloud’s PC server blade can also lead to Xbox Game Pass for PC games made available through the service. The company is currently targeting an xCloud PC client that will stream Xbox games to Windows 10 PCs, but does not currently support PC games. Microsoft will need these new PC blades to stream Xbox Game Pass PC games to mobile devices, Windows PCs, and possibly Xbox consoles in the future.

We understand that Microsoft is on track to launch xCloud as soon as this year on Android mobile devices. Microsoft started testing xCloud on iOS earlier this year, but admitted that it could not fully test its Apple platform service due to some unspecified limitations in the App Store. The software maker was trying to persuade Apple to change its App Store policies to allow xCloud to launch on iOS, but those discussions are ongoing and it’s unlikely the app will launch fully on Apple’s devices next year.

Microsoft, Google, and many other companies looking to launch game streaming services on iOS will be looking at the results of an investigation to infect Apple’s Apple Store policies more closely in the coming months.