what you need to know
- XCloud was the code name for what is now known as Xbox Cloud Gaming.
- Xbox Cloud Gaming gives you access to dozens of Xbox games playable on the web, Android, Xbox consoles, and select smart TVs.
- Microsoft has renewed the trademark name “XCLOUD”, but will they ever use the brand?
Don’t call it XCloud! Or maybe, do?
When Microsoft first debuted its long-awaited Xbox cloud streaming platform, it was under the project codename XCloud, which is sharp, punchy, and memorable. However, the official name has since been changed to Xbox Cloud Gaming, which is functional, but not exactly what I’d describe as fun. Perhaps Microsoft agrees?
For those unaware, Xbox Cloud Gaming is Microsoft’s Netflix-like video game streaming service built into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. In supported regions, it lets you play dozens of games on smart devices like phones with touch controls or a connected gamepad for Android, the web via Xbox.com/play, Windows PCs via the Xbox app, or even consoles. Xbox, priced at $15 per month.
Seen by lumia ornaments, Microsoft has just renewed the trademark list of the XCLOUD brand. The type code used describes its use included in “Entertainment services, namely, providing online video games; rental of video games; providing entertainment information and video game tournaments and competitions via a website.”
Does this mean that Microsoft could one day rebrand Xbox Cloud Gaming? Probably not, although it is not impossible. It could be that Microsoft is simply protecting itself, given that many people refer to Xbox Cloud Gaming as XCloud, including the service’s main subreddit.
We use the phrase “Xcloud” in many of our articles because search volume for the term remains incredibly high, though since Fortnite hit the service a few months ago, a whole new audience discovered the platform and is now primarily known as Xbox Cloud Gaming. . . You can see below how Xbox Cloud Gaming and XCloud were pretty evenly matched in search coverage, and then the relative explosion that occurred once Fortnite hit the service.
Microsoft naming conventions often rely on the explicit over the abstract. For what they lack in style, they often make up for in clarity. “Xbox Cloud Gaming” can be difficult to read, but at least it explains directly what it’s about. Amazon Luna, Google Stadia and GeForce Now are not so obvious at a glance what they really are are.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Amazon Luna is some kind of cleaning product, or that Stadia is another failed attempt by Google at a social network. But as we move toward widespread adoption of these kinds of services, perhaps having a cooler, abstract name like “XCLOUD” on hand for stylistic purposes is a smart bet for Microsoft.