The games industry, like so many industries, is in the process of change. With customers shifting to digital as well as content being produced in such mass, the times they are a changing. One thing that’s also creeping up, or attempting to anyway, is cloud gaming. While Google was the first one to try and embrace it fully with their Stadia platform, and Sony’s PS Now has been a side business for the company for years now, Microsoft is jumping in with Xbox Cloud Gaming. It launched earlier this year to mobile with mostly positive results, and it seems the plan is to expand.
Xbox’s Phil Spencer took to Twitter to answer a question about why streaming wasn’t available on consoles and PC, specifically so people can try out a game easier via Xbox Game Pass as opposed to having to download the game fully. Spencer said that was part of the plan, and it was on the “long list” of things the team are looking to do, though did mention it was a ways down that list, so it could be awhile.
Cloud gaming is one of those things that are up in the air. While some assume it will be a big part of the future as it has been for movies and music, the amount of data needed to realistically stream games in acceptable quality far exceeds those. Couple that with a lot of places in the world having poor internet and data caps, and it could be a hard hurdle to jump. Google’s Stadia, for instance, doesn’t seem to be doing too hot and others in the industry are skeptical of its potential. But either way, Microsoft seems pretty all in at the moment, so hopefully that expansion comes pretty soon.
Yes, we want to do this. It's in the long list of cool things the xCloud team is working on, just a bit further down the list. But we want console and PC players to be able to browse as easily as mobile players, it's a good gamepass feature.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) October 7, 2020