Last month, Microsoft shared some new details about its upcoming game streaming service named Project xCloud. Xbox head Phil Spencer first announced the service back in June at E3 2018. That was a couple of weeks before we learned that the next generation of Xbox consoles could include a new “cloud console” designed for game streaming.
From what Microsoft said about Project xCloud last month, the service will be available on consoles and PCs, as well as mobile devices like phones and tablets. Microsoft made it clear at the time that “scaling and building out Project xCloud is a multi-year journey for us,” and even though the project will go in public testing next year, game streaming networks are not expected to go mainstream anytime soon.
That’s what head of Xbox Phil Spencer reiterated in a recent interview with Level Up (via Wccftech). According to the exec, standard gaming consoles are clearly not going away, and they will remain the best way to play games from the couch for quite a long time (You can hear the full segment starting around 6 minutes in the video below):
There are certain scenarios where streaming a game is the best answer. On a console, the best scenario for you is to download that game and play. If you are on a PC that’s capable of downloading and playing that game, download and play that game. Not all devices are capable of playing the most great fidelity games that we see here on the show, so streaming is an option in those scenarios, and there are some scenarios of like instant start and trials where maybe streaming on a device could be interesting, but I think for years and years the best way to play a game on a console will be to download that game and play it. The same thing on PC.
I think streaming is something that’s further out in terms of it becoming a really mass market where everybody is doing it, and even way further out before it’s the best way to play that game, if it ever is. I just think it’s about giving you a choice as a player, not about replacing what you do. We love people who play on PC, we love people who play native games on console, and we’re investing in making that even better.
Phil Spencer also discussed the success of Xbox Game Pass in the same interview, saying that the service already has "millions of suscribers" a little more than a year after its launch. "I love the fact that something like Game Pass brings more people in, playing more games, and that those games see the uplift in players," said Spencer.