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Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming looks worse on Linux than Windows

Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming appears to dip to a lower visual quality setting when running on Linux. The apparent downgrade across operating systems was noted by a Reddit user over the holiday weekend and confirmed in Ars’ own testing this morning.

To compare how xCloud handles a Linux machine vs. a Windows machine, an Edge extension was used during testing to force the browser’s User-Agent string to present itself as a Linux browser:

  • Windows User-Agent tested: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/103.0.5060.66 Safari/537.36 Edg/103.0.1264.44
  • Linux User-Agent tested: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/102.0.5005.27 Safari/537.36 Edg/102.0.1245.7

Tests were conducted on the latest version of Microsoft Edge (Version 103.0.1264.44, 64-bit) running on a Windows 10 PC. All tests were run on a wired Internet connection registering download speeds of 120 Mbps and ~9 ms latency, according to spot tests at Fast.com.

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