In addition to launching the Xbox Series X later this year, Microsoft is also bringing out its xCloud streaming service with Game Pass to help reach a bigger audience. The head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, wants to assure people that Microsoft remains committed to the physical console.
Speaking during a recent GameLab fireside chat, Spencer stated that cloud gaming will not take over and replace consoles anytime soon. The xCloud service is just simply, another option for people that might want to use it.
“I’ve never tried to position xCloud as a replacement for your gaming PC or for a console,” he said. “I like to sit down in front of the big screen and play on a console. I’m sitting here at my PC rig right now and I like to play here. But I’m not always in front of those two devices and I want to be able to play where I want to go play on the device that I choose.”
“I don’t think the highest fidelity place to go play a game is going to be streamed from an Azure data centre or anybody’s data center any time soon,” he added. “That doesn’t mean it’s not a viable place to go play. We’re building this capability to enable you to go play the games that you want to go play, but not as a replacement to where you go play them today.”
Spencer mentioned that “hundreds of thousands” of people are already using xCloud through its closed beta tests, and that the feedback has been helpful for Microsoft to build a better product.
“We’re going to bring xCloud into Game Pass” Spencer went on to add. “A natural way to extend where you can play your Game Pass library is to add the ability to stream to mobile devices,” he said. “We’ll be talking more about that pretty soon–it’s actually not too far off now–where we’ll give more clarity on the business model, which I think people will really like, as well as the library of games to go play and where you can go play that. We’re close. We feel good about the tech.”
Microsoft’s engineers are preparing for the launch by adding “hundreds of thousands” of Azure server blades around the world to help xCloud when it reaches out – in terms of stress.