With the next generation of consoles releasing in a few weeks, excitement is high for what the games on those machines will be able to achieve graphically with all that extra processing power. It’s not just about pure graphics though, as in the long term it will likely still be services in addition to the games, that sell this next-gen hardware.
And for Microsoft, that service comes in the form of both its Xbox Game Pass and the potential that its xCloud gaming service has in bringing in additional gamers who want to play the games on different mobile devices. While mobile devices are perhaps the main platform that is likely to find success within cloud gaming, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for people to also play these games directly on their TV screens, who perhaps don’t want to fork out the money for a new console either.
One of the strategies Microsoft is considering for this particular market is a TV streaming dongle that could be plugged into a set and connect directly to Microsoft’s xCloud service. Microsoft’s head of gaming and Xbox, Phil Spencer, revealed in an interview with Stratechery that the company is even considering additional tiers of Xbox Game Pass, which could include a free bundled TV stick to play xCloud games.
While much of the talk about the new consoles will come down to which one has the most power and the best games it seems clear that Microsoft is playing a longer game and trying to get as many people as possible playing its titles. It makes sense as the only way they could make their subscription service viable for their massive game development budgets would be to get as many subscribers as possible, and if that means getting people with decent internet to play directly from their TVs, then that’s a solid strategy.
Last Updated: October 27, 2020