Microsoft Wants To Pursue Subscription-free Route For xCloud, Phil Spencer Reveals

Posted on March 8, 2021 by Nick Moreno

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To Microsoft, cloud streaming is to be handled alike its other entities in the video game market: another point of entry for players to access games within the Xbox ecosystem. Currently, there are three ways to do so through console, PC, or xCloud. With the first two already prominent in the industry, xCloud is more malleable for users to access outside of conventional means. And Microsoft is aware of the potential the platform can reach.

In the past, Xbox lead Phil Spencer has referenced streaming for console and PC – referencing that demos can implement the feature without requiring to download the client. But even more, Spencer also signals to gaming without tangible hardware. In that, he did entertain to the idea of a streaming stick for xCloud which can be inserted directly into any television; similar to a Google Chromecast.

Another trait that Google inhabits with its iteration of streaming entertainment is Stadia. The service since last April offers a free tier which welcomes users to purchase games and stream at standard 1080p, 30 frames per second. Similarly, Microsoft wants to follow that path in regards to its in-house xCloud platform.

The mix of xCloud and Game Pass I think really creates a unique opportunity for us. Its an easy way for people to try gaming – to try high-end console gaming for the first time and that’s what we’re seeing more and more of and its very exciting seeing people […] more and more people we see on xCloud now who don’t own a console and don’t own a gaming PC and our long-term aspiration is to make xCloud a great way for new gamers to come into the ecosystem.

Now, we want to give people the ability to buy. We’ve talked about that. We don’t want to make it just about the subscription because we know certain people want to be able to buy their games and still play them via the cloud. So they get that convenience feature of being connected to their library.

There’s so much opportunity as we’re looking at new screens that we can bring xCloud to. It opens up massive device categories that we don’t even really think about today in terms of where these games can show up.

Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of Gaming

Looking ahead for xCloud already, Microsoft is planning to work in support for the service through a web-based application which will apply to both PC as well as iOS. The two platforms are said to expect full-on integration by spring time within the coming weeks now.

Elsewhere recently, Microsoft incidentally welcomed the first phase of what will later be xCloud on Xbox systems through its indoctrination of Microsoft Edge Chronium. In extension to that, it is also suggested that Stadia can also be accessed through this as well. You can read the full report by heading here.

Do you use xCloud yet or now?

xCloud is currently available for Android-enabled devices.

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