Microsoft have announced Xbox are working with smart TV manufacturers to “embed the Xbox experience directly;” for cloud gaming and Xbox Game Pass.
In a post on Xbox Wire entitled “Bringing the Joy and Community of Gaming to Everyone,” Editor-in-Chief Will Tuttle discussed Microsoft’s future plans for the Xbox.
“We believe that games, that interactive entertainment, aren’t really about hardware and software,” explained Head of Xbox Phil Spencer. “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.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella further stated how the aim of playing “a leading role in democratizing gaming and defining the future of interactive entertainment” boiled down to three major points; cloud computing, Xbox Game Pass, and empowering creators.
Details about Xbox Game Pass and its future were revealed. Microsoft states Xbox Game Pass members play 30% more genres, and 40% more games; and 90% stating they played a game they would not have tried without Game Pass.
On average, partners also see engagement increased eight-fold when they enter Game Pass. Purchasing games (on Game Pass or otherwise) and DLC is also increased by 50% among members. The post notes how the subscription service has “become a true discovery engine.”
Microsoft also shared that since starting the EA Play partnership with Game Pass Ultimate; with EA Play having play-time increased on Microsoft platforms by 200%. Outriders and MLB: The Show 21 were also the best selling digital game during its launch week and second biggest sports title of all time on Xbox respectively. The latter was also the best selling paid game on Xbox for April 2021.
The future of Xbox and Xbox Game Pass were then detailed; with “Xbox and Xbox Game Pass are Coming to More Screens.” Therein, Microsoft reveal that “Xbox is working with global TV manufacturers to embed the Xbox experience directly into internet-connected televisions with no extra hardware required except a controller.”
Combined with Microsoft’s boast of cloud gaming and Xbox Game Pass, this may mean Microsoft are looking to bring Xbox games to smart TVs. This is further supported by Xbox stating they are building their own streaming devices for cloud gaming “to reach gamers on any TV or monitor without the need for a console at all.” If so, Microsoft will need to avoid the mistakes made by Google Stadia.
Microsoft also state Xbox are looking into “new subscription offerings for Xbox Game Pass” to bring the service to more players across devices, geographies, and “financial realities.” Xbox are also working with telecom providers for new purchasing options such as Xbox All Access.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cloud gaming will also launch in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan later this year; and cloud gaming via browser will be coming to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in the next few weeks. As Microsoft datacenters are updated, Xbox Series X|S optimized games will also be getting faster load times, and better frame rates.
Cloud gaming will also be added to the Xbox app on PC later in 2021; and integrated into the “console experience” to “light up scenarios like try before you download.”
Xbox also aim to have a new first party game on Game Pass every quarter (supported by over 23 studios worldwide), and the independent developer program [email protected]; which has earned developers over $2 billion USD since its inception and 2000 titles launched. The model is also being used in [email protected], to allow indie developers to build “cloud-based experiences.”
Do you think cloud gaming is the future for Xbox, or gaming? Sound off in the comments below!