Cloud App Management

Microsoft is All Set to Launch its Dedicated Xbox Cloud Gaming Hardware

Microsoft announced the launch of a dedicated device for game streaming. It is also working with several television manufacturers to develop the Xbox experience right into their internet-connected screens. Microsoft even plans to bring cloud gaming to the PC Xbox app later this year, emphasizing play-before-you-buy conditions.

Although the appearance (look) of these new game streaming devices is not clear yet because Microsoft did not provide any further details, there are speculations that it can be either a Chromecast-like streaming stick or a small Apple TV-like box. So far, we also do not know the television manufacturing partners.

As it is known to all that Microsoft is a giant in cloud gaming. For example, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is already making it an avenue for its subscribers to play more than 100 console games on Android, streamed from the Azure cloud. It will make cloud gaming available in the Edge, Chrome, and Safari browsers in a few weeks, for all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers (which is currently in limited beta). And later this year, it is bringing Game Pass Ultimate to Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan.

Microsoft segregates gaming from the hardware in several ways — similar to what Google is attempting with Stadia and Amazon with Luna. However, the significant advantage of Microsoft is the extensive library of popular games, something that is generally missing on competing services, apart from Nvidia’s GeForce Now platform.  Though, Nvidia’s GeForce Now platform has a different business model since its emphasis is not on the subscriptions but on letting you play the games you buy in third-party stores like the Epic or the Steam.

Microsoft deliberately wants to expand the overall Xbox ecosystem, even if it sells fewer dedicated high-powered consoles. The company relates this to the music industry’s transition to cloud-powered services supported by all-you-can-eat subscription models.

Microsoft Xbox head Phil Spencer said, “We believe that games are interactive entertainment and not really about hardware and software. It is also not about pixels. It is about people. Games bring people together, build bridges, and nurture bonds, generating mutual empathy among people worldwide.  Joy and community — that is why we are here.”

Although Microsoft says it is not doing away with dedicated hardware, it is already working on the next generation of its console hardware. But do not expect a brand-new Xbox console anytime soon.

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