Xbox Anywhere: Up to 3 billion players for Microsoft?

business news Xbox Anywhere: Up to 3 billion players for Microsoft?

On May 5, 2022, Microsoft officially launched Fortnite on xCloud in partnership with Epic Games. The Redmond -based company took advantage of this surprise announcement to publish a press release promoting “Xbox Everywhere”, a strategy aimed at allowing players to enjoy the titles they want, who they want, on devices they want. This isn’t the first time the software juggernaut has repeated this mantra, but a month from the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase 2022, Phil Spencer and his team are preparing to develop a device. The goal? Just reaching 3 billion players.

A stagnant hardware, a rising cloud

In addition, Microsoft’s desire is not new. It no longer needs to be loaded with hardware to run an Xbox game that sure started in 2013, when. the experiments were performed in Halo 4 with the intention that it can be played on smartphones thanks to “the power of the cloud“. In 2018, Phil Spencer, vice president of Xbox gaming, Revelation during E3 that a streaming game service is in the works, and that it will provide access ”of console-quality titles on any device”. A teaser that went unnoticed due to the announcement of the Ninja Theory claim happened a few minutes ago. Two years later, he determined that his competitors were no longer Sony or Nintendo, but Google and Amazon, cloud specialists. The comments have apparently sparked controversy but nonetheless reflect Microsoft’s new policy on the Xbox: relying on the best parts of the group to win the beneficial war on services.. At Microsoft, that means betting on Azure, the cloud platform that can boast of being the engine of the company’s annual results.

Xbox Anywhere: Up to 3 billion players for Microsoft?

There are only 200 or 250 million households in the world that are interested in video games on consoles. This remains less than 10% of the three billion players. We need to find users where they are, ie on mobile and on other screens or devices”Said Phil Spencer last year before the 2021 Showcase. Tim Stuart, the brand’s director of finance, explained that the efforts will be made on PC and mobile. He pointed out financially, “the growing importance of revenue (…) from services“Made game”less reliant (…) on consoles”. For decades, we’ve measured the success of a factory on one scale, that of selling the console in stores around the world. This will no longer be a sufficient sign for the next few years.. In addition, Flight Simulator is the perfect example of what provides a successful partnership between the various divisions of Microsoft, in this case Azure and Bing. Asobo’s creation also became the most played cloud work on mobile devices, PCs and consoles in March 2022.

Xbox anywhere, competition anywhere?

Xbox Anywhere: Up to 3 billion players for Microsoft?

With a strong and fast hit, first with Game Pass, then with xCloud (long reserved for Ultimate customers), Microsoft now has 25 million subscribers (+ 39% a year). Among them, more than 10 million users have tried streaming the game through Game Pass Ultimate. This number, Microsoft wants to see it climb quickly to leave the least chance the competition can.. This is why the group led by Satya Nadella ended its acquisition of Bethesda last year and plans to acquire Activision Blizzard. The software specialist wants to deliver Game Pass as often as possible to the titles that players expect. With the hope of expanding the influence of its services. As a reminder, the best -selling PlayStation game of 2021 is none other than Call of Duty: Vanguard. Even if Sony patches the PlayStation Plus offering, no industry giant today offers “netflix video game”Is better built than Microsoft. According to Ampere Analysis, Game Pass has a 60% market share in video game subscription services in Europe and North America, up against 7% for PlayStation Now.

Xbox wants to quickly grow in a sector where the brand has all the cards in hand thanks to the cloud expertise of its parent company. The levers for maximizing growth are content, of course, but also the number of territories that provide access to services.. On March 29, 2022, the Redmond company past Game Pass PC (in preview) in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Recently, Phil Spencer’s teams opened up cloud gaming to Mexican, Japanese and Brazilian gamers, increasing the number of territories connected to xCloud to 26. In this regard, Sony announced that about 30 countries will soon have access to game streaming via the cloud thanks to the addition of Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic , Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. As a reminder, the Japanese manufacturer only offers game streaming on consoles (PS4, PS5) and PC. However, PS5 games will not be played in the cloud, unlike Xbox Series X | S apps that have Microsoft offerings.

Xbox Anywhere: Up to 3 billion players for Microsoft?Xbox Anywhere: Up to 3 billion players for Microsoft?

Think from the (X) box

Xbox Anywhere: Up to 3 billion players for Microsoft?

To date, game streaming within the Xbox ecosystem is only offered to Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, a selection of games that are part of the catalog. On May 5, 2022, Microsoft created a non -service title that could be played on Fortnite for the first time. This means that anyone with an iOS device, Android mobile device, or Windows PC, without an Xbox Live Gold subscription or Game Pass, can play Fortnite through the cloud. In addition, this process allows Apple device owners to have fun with Epic Games software. Save 30% on “the apple tax”Passed on to users via a price reduction that applies to all purchases made on xCloud, regardless of the platform used to access it. After showing us that it is possible to enjoy Xbox games on other machines/devices than Xbox consoles, the Redmond company confirmed to us that a Game Pass subscription is no longer mandatory to take advantage of the cloud.. It’s no surprise to see others free-to-play taking advantage of this cloud boost in Rocket League, Call of Duty: Warzone, Phantasy Star Online: New Genesis and, logically, Halo Infinite.

In its official press release, Microsoft recalled that in less than two years, more than 125 developers were working to make more than 350 Xbox Game Pass cloud -compatible games. These versions designed to be played on mobile devices always have touch controls. The American giant recognizes that 20% of xCloud users don’t use any particular accessory to play, and it’s therefore important to democratize the touch interface. Since September 2021, when xCloud made its beta debut, the Redmond company has undoubtedly gained experience. Gradually, the Xbox brand moved elsewhere than the offenders. It comes in offices with PCs, in pockets with iOS or Android devices, in backpacks with Steam Deck… and soon in connected televisions.. The noises in the hallway even evoke the arrival of an HDMI key to plug into your TV to enjoy Xbox cloud gaming without a real Xbox connected to the screen.

After Xbox Play Anywhere, now comes the time for Xbox Anywhere. Voted best publisher of the year 2021 by Metacritic, the American giant knows it has an army of studios capable of releasing games in a variety of genres that will produce interesting players with different profiles . If Microsoft succeeds in ending its acquisition of Activision Blizzar, the number of Game Pass subscribers could experience significant growth. Of course, this bright future announced for Phil Spencer’s teams will only intervene if technology and the environment follow. If an Xbox Live outage makes the cloud inaccessible to millions of subscribers, it’s best to keep a cool head.

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