Microsoft has recently shifted the company’s attention away from developing and selling hardware; instead, the technology giant is focusing on evolving their services and software to better serve their customers.
This trend has now been extended to the firm’s gaming department - it now plans to lessen its focus on the Xbox and related hardware. Meanwhile, more effort will be placed on increasing the company’s gaming subscription base and games sales, while improving on its range of gaming services.
Phil Spencer, head of gaming at Microsoft, has recently conducted an interview with Bloomberg, in which he shared the reasons why the company has decided to shift its focus. According to Spencer, who reports directly to CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft envisions its role in the future gaming scene as a facilitator responsible for keeping gamers connected at all times. The revenue-generating Microsoft cloud will be a key player in the journey towards realising this vision, as it will be able to keep customers connected to Microsoft software and services regardless of device or location.
Similarly, the company has also shifted its focus away from developing Windows-based smartphones. Instead, they have open-mindedly adjusted their operations to developing new software and services on their competitors’ hardware, including iOS and Android devices. This goes hand-in-hand with the vision of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella of placing more focus on the customer, not the hardware.
According to Bloomberg, Spencer has hinted during the interview that a separate game-streaming plan is in the pipeline, and Microsoft may roll out the service within three years. This service is said to not require a console for certain content of the services. Spencer also pointed out there is a need for the company to develop quality first-party X-box games. This is not the usual path the company takes, but it seems like the direction is going to change.
In 2016, Microsoft cancelled some of its games exclusive to the Xbox after studios were shuttered. Gamers around the world are now looking forward to the future exclusive games developed by Microsoft that could beautifully compliment the powerful Xbox One X console.
Microsoft has previously launched backward compatibility for its Xbox 360 games, which allows gamers to play older games on newer hardware. By introducing game streaming, gamers would be able to play with Xbox games on other devices, including rival consoles. In 2013, Microsoft has demonstrated the streaming of the game Halo 4 on Windows devices from the cloud. This was merely a demonstration of the concept at the time, but will become a reality in the near future.
Staying relevant in the gaming industry can be challenging due to the dynamic nature of the business. The innovative gaming team at Microsoft is always striving to create an interesting future for gamers by keeping up to date with the changing needs of the gaming world.
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