Tech giant Microsoft is planning to make the gaming experience better and cooler for its Xbox user base spanning millions. The company has revealed that it plans to roll out dedicated game streaming devices for Xbox Cloud Gaming, so that users can use cloud gaming to connect with fellow gamers simply through TVs or computer monitors, even if they don’t have access to proper gaming consoles.
How will people connect to the Xbox games through TV, you ask? Well, Microsoft has got you covered on that front too. It has forged partnerships with a number of television manufacturers, so as to get the basic gaming features integrated into the smart TV sets directly, hoping that gamers get to play hardware demanding games simply through a good internet connection.
The company has not mentioned what devices it is working on, but we will have more information on this in the coming months.
The Satya Nadella-led firm has also been growing out it’s cloud gaming services, after having launched two new console models for its Xbox range last year. The aim is to bring in casual gamers, by allowing them to play anywhere (in the house) they’d like, instead of being cooped up in the living room.
Keeping this in mind, the company has come up with a monthly subscription service known as Game Pass for $9.99 per month. The subscription comes equipped with many of the classic game offerings on Xbox, from “Gear 5” and “Alien Invasion”, and is compatible with PCs and Android devices as well, apart from the regular gaming consoles. The idea probably is to compete with the PlayStation, the industry leader by rival company Sony.
Additionally, cloud gaming could soon become available on a PC Xbox app, and will come equipped with play-before-you-buy games.
Satya Nadella expressed his views in this regard, saying, “With Game Pass coming to the browser, the value of the subscription is going to transcend from the console to the PC to mobile. I am looking forward to how we continue to invest in Game Pass, to add more content and bring the service to even more geographies.”
Game Pass will also be rolling out new subscription services soon, and the Game Pass Ultimate, which has access to more than 100 console games, and is already available in a few countries, will be hitting the stores in Japan, Australia, Mexico and Africa later this year. Cloud gaming will also be opened to browsers on Chrome, Edge, and Safari as well (it’s currently available only on a few browsers, like Azure).
Moreover, users will soon have the ability to purchase consoles and Game Pass in a bundle, at low monthly prices. With this, the firm hopes to introduce at least one game into the game subscription per quarter. The games will be fully first-party, and will provide users with never-before experiences. Phil Spencer, head at Xbox, further explained the plan, “We will unlock the ability for anyone on the planet to enjoy the gaming experiences that relatively few have had the access to before.”
These moves are almost clearly directed towards expanding the overall Xbox universe, while drawing back focus from the sale of dedicated consoles. Spencer further elaborated on the concept, saying, “We believe that games, that interactive entertainment, aren’t really about hardware and software. It’s not about pixels. It’s about people. Games bring people together. Games build bridges and forge bonds, generating mutual empathy among people all over the world. Joy and community -that’s why we’re here.”