Microsoft is planning to introduce a cloud-based gaming service that would allow people to stream games without having to actually purchase them. The software giant unveiled a new gaming cloud division that could potentially change the gaming industry forever.
Microsoft has been in the gaming business for a long time now. Now that one hears about Microsoft regarding gaming is most likely the Xbox. The software giant has always tried to evolve with time with regards to gaming. An example is from the traditional Xbox to the Xbox 360. From the 360, they came up with the Xbox One, which is more than just a gaming console, it can be looked at as an all-in-one entertainment system.
Now, the focus seems to be on making games available for everyone regarding their machine. That’s what Xbox’s play anywhere program tries to achieve. Apart from that, the main goal they seem to be pushing for is their game streaming services. They have set up a new division just for this purpose. The company has also been quietly acquiring gaming-related companies like Havok for some time now. This is all to help Microsoft achieve their goals of creating a cloud-based gaming service.
The cloud gaming division
The division is being led by Kareem Choudhry, a prominent figure in the making of Outlook, DirectX, and Xbox engineering. The new division will work towards getting game developers and publishers on board and having them use Microsoft’s cloud services. Ubisoft has already been using some of Microsoft’s cloud services, but the company wants more game companies to utilize their services.
“We believe there is going to be 2 billion gamers in the world, and our goal is to reach every one of them,” explains Choudhry. What Microsoft eventually intends to do is launch a subscription-based gaming service through their cloud. To get a good idea of what they’re looking to achieve, look at the Xbox Game Pass. It’s a monthly subscription one can purchase through which they can download and play multiple games on the Xbox One. The subscription has got a positive response so far and Microsoft will now add first-party games to the service directly from launch instead of waiting.
“We’re really pleased with the success that’s happening [with Game Pass],” says Choudhry. “We continue to believe in user choice, and we also believe there’s room in the industry for a gaming subscription and that’s what we’re going to build.”
So what Microsoft will create would be the “Netflix” for games. A service that lets you play all your favorite games without purchasing them would be a dream come true for many gamers. However, the problem lies with rival companies such as Sony and Nintendo who may not comply in giving their games. Microsoft seems to work around this by streaming the games directly to devices.
Game streaming has become popular nowadays, even Nvidia is trying to make it work. It’s not a hard task to pull off, therefore it’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft does it. Microsoft claims that they could have a streaming service up and running in less than 5 years. However, there are many other factors such as satisfying third parties in order to get them on board. Nevertheless, Microsoft can change the landscape of gaming if it pulls it off.
There is no doubt about Microsoft’s ability to implement its cloud gaming services and provide us with a gaming subscription. The problem is getting other gaming companies on board. This is an issue seen in the Xbox Game Pass. Although the subscription offers many good games, it excludes great titles as well. For a large-scale service covering a lot of games, it would need to get other companies on board otherwise it won’t work.
Nevertheless, Microsoft is firing on all cylinders with a new direction for gaming. Whether or not Microsoft is able to pull it off remains to be seen. However, the prospect of having a single service like Netflix offering all your favorite games for a cheap monthly price is very attractive indeed.