Microsoft’s Xbox chief hints at game streaming service within three years

After Windows Phone, this could also mean the end of the road for Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console that has been struggling to win the sales game against Sony’s PlayStation.

After years of getting crushed by Sony’s PlayStation console, Microsoft now seems to be thinking differently and has plans to launch a game streaming service in the next three years.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Microsoft gaming division chief Phil Spencer, said that consoles sales are not of primary importance to the company anymore. Spencer hinted saying that Microsoft has plans to shift its focus to software (for gaming) and services instead of hardware (which is consoles).

Microsoft’s Xbox chief hints at game streaming service within three years

Xbox One X. Image: Microsoft

Adding to his hints, Spencer even went on to clarify that Microsoft will launch a game streaming service that does not need a console in the next three years.

Indeed, this also hints at the death of its Xbox Console, one that has been struggling with sales to compete with Sony’s PlayStation console year after year.

At the moment, Microsoft offers a service that is somewhat similar with its ‘Xbox Play Anywhere’ service, but it only allow for cross-compatibility of games between Xbox and Windows 10 PCs.

The software giant could expand the new service under its Xbox Game Pass that currently gives subscribers access to a broader list of titles under a month subscription plan.

The service could work like Sony’s PlayStation Now that let gamers buy and stream games off their internet connection with the need for a CD, decreasing the time needed to download to package locally on to the user’s console.

Even though the brand is late to the game streaming part, it could have an edge because Microsoft does have access to both PC compatible and Xbox console specific titles (though limited in number). Combined, these could challenge Sony’s PlayStation (users in terms of consoles and service subscribers combined).

At the moment, no details have been given out as to what devices, users will be able to game on. Since Sony has not seen much success with game streaming, it was last seen chopping down the number of devices it supports.

Sony PlayStation 4 Pro

Sony PlayStation 4 Pro

Despite giving out plenty of hints at the death of the physical console, Spencer did give owners some relief by saying, “Obviously, for us, the console is an important part there; but connecting to gamers wherever they are is the vision of Microsoft around what we're doing in gaming."

Microsoft recently announced its Xbox One X, its most power console yet. The device has gone on sale abroad but has yet to reach Indian shores. The device has been available for pre-order for some time now, and Microsoft expects the Xbox One X 1 TB console to ship from 30 November, 2017. The console is priced at $ 499 and comes with a range of gaming accessories, designed specifically for the console that need to be purchased separately.

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