With each new console generation that comes out, there are usually a few attempts to bring something a bit more innovative out into the marketplace. We’ve seen plenty of changes over the years whether it was format-based to feature-based. Some of these changes are nothing more than gimmicks in some consumers’ eyes, but other changes come out to establish a new standard. For Microsoft, they are potentially bringing out a big change in the video game industry as they take on cloud gaming.
Microsoft has been making several moves to make video games even more accessible. For starters, they brought out the service Xbox Game Pass. This is a subscription service that allowed players to receive all of the first-party studio releases at launch for a monthly fee. Those of you who stayed subscribed could enjoy this growing backlog of video games and new releases regularly just as long as you have a capable Xbox console or a gaming PC to properly run the games. Of course, that was another hurdle Xbox head Phil Spencer was looking to change up.
This prompted Microsoft to bring out a cloud gaming service attached to the Xbox Game Pass. Subscribers were able to stream the Xbox Game Pass catalog of video games to their smartphone devices. Soon, the push is to move cloud gaming to multiple devices such as web browsers, smart TVs, and even last-generation Xbox One consoles. Ultimately, this would allow players to enjoy the latest video games for a monthly fee and not have any requirements in terms of hardware to run these video games. Instead, the only hurdle consumers would need to deal with is ensuring they have bandwidth capable of streaming these games.
Of course, we haven’t seen xCloud make much of an appearance yet with web browsing cloud gaming still just in closed beta. With that said, it doesn’t look like Microsoft is giving up on the idea of more accessible gaming. Recently it was unveiled that Kim Swift, a designer who worked on the likes of Valve’s Portal IP, has been hired over at Xbox. Apparently, Kim’s new role will be based around cloud gaming and working with studios to help build up cloud video games. With that said, it’s a waiting game for the rest of us to get access to enjoy cloud gaming outside of our smartphone devices.