Microsoft is bringing cloud gaming to Xbox consoles

25 Aug 2021

Image: © seanlockephotography/Stock.adobe.com

The new service from Microsoft means Xbox players will soon be able to stream games before downloading them.

Microsoft is expanding its video game offering, with plans to add its cloud gaming service to several Xbox consoles later this year.

This means Xbox players will soon be able to stream games over the internet on their consoles before having to download and install them onto the console itself.

“It’s a way for console gamers to play some of their favourite games as quickly as possible, jump into games with friends more easily, and try out Xbox Game Pass titles before installing them,” said Jake Rosenberg, senior program manager at Xbox.

Xbox Cloud Gaming is currently only available on mobile devices and PCs, but the latest announcement will see it land on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles as well as older Xbox One machines.

Playing to win

Microsoft has been upping its investment in both cloud and gaming in recent years, so it’s no surprise that the tech giant is bringing the two together. In January this year, the company’s earnings showed the growing demand for its cloud services, while revenue for Xbox grew 40pc.

The last 12 months have seen Microsoft involved in some major moves in the gaming industry, including a $7.5bn acquisition of Bethesda, the game studio behind Fallout and Doom. The deal was the biggest gaming acquisition in Microsoft’s history and could give Xbox a major advantage in terms of potential exclusive releases.

When the deal was first announced in September 2020, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialise and play with their friends.

“As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together we will further our ambition to empower the more than 3bn gamers worldwide.”

Microsoft was also believed to be in talks to buy Discord, a social media platform popular with gamers, with an offer of $10bn said to have been on the table in March of this year. However, the deal was not meant to be.

Other major tech players dipping their toes in the game-streaming sector include streaming giant Netflix, Google with its Stadia platform and Amazon’s Luna platform.

Jenny Darmody is the deputy editor of Silicon Republic

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