Ahead of E3 2021, Microsoft has posted a new blog post outlining what’s next for gaming. Building on its mission of “bringing the joy and community of gaming to everyone,” the company has announced some new ways it plans to fulfill that, including Xbox streaming devices and smart TV integration.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
While console gaming is here to stay with the Xbox Series X|S (at least for the interim), Xbox has been hard at work bringing gaming to other screens like smartphones (through Xbox cloud gaming) and browsers. In addition, the company has revealed some new statistics about Game Pass and what’s coming down the pipe for Xbox gaming.
“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. Games build bridges and forge bonds, generating mutual empathy among people all over the world. Joy and community – that’s why we’re here.”Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox
Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass is no doubt, at least in my mind, one of the best subscription services there is today. At the same time, people may wonder how offering games at launch and a rotating catalogue of older games, to subscribers at a low monthly fee, seems to be working. According to Microsoft, both Outriders and MLB: The Show 21 (both launched on the service the day they came out) were the #1 selling games. Outriders was the +31 selling digital game during launch week and made the top ten for April. MLB: The Show 21 (published by Sony Interactive Entertainment no less) was the #1 selling paid game for April on Xbox.
In addition, Xbox Game Pass subscribers tend to play more different games, as well as drive up game engagement:
- Xbox Game Pass members play 30% more genres and play 40% more games
- More than 90% of members said they played a game that they would not have tried without Game Pass
- On average, partners see engagement go up by more than 8x when they enter Game Pass
- Members spend 50% more than non-members when it comes to purchasing games or additional content like DLC
Xbox also announced that in part due to their recent acquisitions, they plan on releasing at least one new first-party game into Game Pass every quarter. Of the 23 studios under the Xbox umbrella, including Bethesda, gamers can expect a “steady stream of compelling exclusive
Xbox gaming on more screens
Microsoft isn’t stopping at bringing Xbox gaming to smartphones and your web browser. In the post, they announced that they are working on expanding access and working with smart TV manufacturers to bring Xbox games and content to internet-connected TVs. This would require no console or additional hardware outside of a controller to play on your TV.
More interestingly, Xbox is also working on Xbox streaming devices to allow gamers to access Xbox games through cloud gaming on any TV or monitor without shelling out for an expensive console. To support this, the Microsoft datacenters which provide the streaming content for Xbox are being upgraded with Xbox Series X hardware for faster load times, improved framerates, and allow gamers to experience Xbox Series X|S optimized games.
“We believe that Microsoft can play a leading role in democratizing gaming and defining the future of interactive entertainment. There are really three key areas where we believe we have an incredible competitive advantage: First, our leadership in cloud computing. Second, the resources we have to build our subscription service, Xbox Game Pass. And third, our overall focus on empowering creators.”Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO
In the short term, cloud gaming on your browser will exit the closed beta and be accessible for all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. Cloud gaming will also launch later this year in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan. Finally, the company will also integrate cloud gaming into the Xbox app on PC and even your console so you can “try before you download” to see if you like a game before committing to it further.
Check out what Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had to say with regards to the importance of gaming to Microsoft in the video below.
What do you think about Microsoft’s plans for Xbox streaming devices and smart TV integration to make it even easier for people to enjoy Xbox games wherever they want? What are you looking forward to Xbox announcing at E3 this weekend? Let us know on Twitter, MeWe, or any of the social media sites below.
Last Updated on June 10, 2021.