Video games

Xbox Game Pass, xCloud, and the future of gaming at Microsoft

Tom Warren for The Verge:

Microsoft wants to build the Netflix for video games, and early indications show that its bet is already starting to pay off with 10 million subscribers. Some developers are also reporting increases in game sales and more players, and Microsoft has some big plans ahead with xCloud for Game Pass — particularly around the ability to instantly play games or demos.

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We now know Microsoft’s plans for Xbox Series X and Xbox Game Pass content over the next couple of years, but there’s more needed to demonstrate why “the world’s most powerful console” matters.

Looking back at last week’s Xbox event and even the one before that, it seems like everything was done out of order. If anything, there should have been an entire event devoted to Game Pass and xCloud, letting people see how it works and all the stuff you get with it. After that, a hardware reveal that shows people what they can get to have the best Game Pass experience. One high-end device for a premium experience, and one with a cheaper price tag for everyone else.

Instead, Microsoft keeps talking about the Xbox Series X like it’s going toe-to-toe with the PS5 which, it many ways, it isn’t. This is confusing and seems like it’ll be a quick way to waste a ton of money producing and marketing a device that people don’t understand the potential importance of to Microsoft’s larger vision.

Xbox Game Pass and xCloud are the future of gaming at Microsoft. I just wish they were better able to communicate that to the world instead of muddying it up with typical console-vs-console mumbo jumbo.