Xbox Is Doubling Down On Cloud Gaming

In an Xbox Wire post earlier this morning, Microsoft shared some interesting statistics about Xbox Game Pass. However, the post also teased some of Microsoft’s plans for the subscription service.

Without beating around the bush, the post clearly states that “Xbox is working with global TV manufacturers to embed the Xbox experience directly into internet-connected televisions.” In other words, you’ll only need a smart TV and a controller to get started with the Xbox experience.

For those without a smart TV, Xbox has a plan. According to the post, “Xbox is building its own streaming devices for cloud gaming.” As of now, it’s unclear what form these devices will take.

Additionally, Xbox intends to “add cloud gaming directly into the Xbox app on PC and integrate it into [the] console experience.” The intention is to make “scenarios like ‘try before you download'” a reality.

In the meantime, cloud gaming on web browsers will be open to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members within the coming weeks. Edge, Chrome, and Safari users will be able to access and play games from virtually any device.

For those who follow Xbox closely, these plans will not come as a surprise. Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, has always been clear that his goal is to bring the Xbox experience to as many screens and users as possible. “We believe that games, that interactive entertainment, aren’t really about hardware and software. It’s not about pixels. It’s about people. Games bring people together,” said Spencer. “Games build bridges and forge bonds, generating mutual empathy among people all over the world. Joy and community – that’s why we’re here.”

On the statistics side of things, the news post shared a lot of interesting information.

  • Xbox Game Pass members play 30% more genres and play 40% more games. And more than 90% of members said they played a game that they would not have tried without Game Pass.
  • On average across the Game Pass library, partners see engagement go up by more than 8x when they enter Game Pass.
  • Whether it’s purchasing games inside or outside of what’s available in the library, or purchasing additional content for the games they like, members spend 50% more than non-members.
  • Xbox Game Pass has become a true discovery engine, a platform for connection and community, and is driving game sales. New insights we’re sharing today include:
    • Since we started our partnership with EA Play in Game Pass Ultimate, our players have been engaging with EA’s subscription service in a significant way. Compared to before the integration, EA Play has seen record usage on Microsoft platforms, driving hours played on these platforms up by more than 200%. As a result, EA’s incredible portfolio of games has reached and gained millions of new fans on the Xbox platform.
    • The new Square Enix game Outriders is in Game Pass and was also the #1 selling digital game on Xbox during its launch week and a top 10 selling digital game on Xbox in the month of April. Game Pass helped introduce millions of players to the game.
    • During launch week, MLB: The Show 21 was the biggest sports game of the past year on Xbox and the second biggest sports game of all time on Xbox. Game Pass added millions of new fans and grew Major League Baseball’s player base significantly. MLB: The Show 21 was also the #1 selling paid game on Xbox for the month of April. 

The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase is set for June 13 at 10 AM PDT / 1 PM EDT. Fans should expect reveals and more information on upcoming games. Although it now seems that Xbox will have a lot more to announce and detail.

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