Microsoft’s commitment to more first-party exclusives is turning heads, but a surprising tidbit is getting less press. In his interview with Bloomberg, Xbox head Phil Spencer announced concrete plans for a game streaming service.
It’s a concept that has been floating around for many years, a 2012 trial axed due to high expenses. Almost six years later, Microsoft is far better poised to pull it off, and there are a couple of reasons why.
A major one is the company’s advancement in the cloud. Its growth has been nothing short of incredible, now holding Azure cloud offerings in 36 regions across the world. As well as advancing business offerings, it acts as a perfect base for a quality, low-cost streaming service.
As a result, it could offer a consistency that previous ventures have been unable to provide. But another big motivator has to be competition.
Sony acquired OnLive, one of the first major game streaming services, in 2015. Its website reads, “Sony has acquired important parts of OnLive. Due to the sale, all OnLive services were discontinued.”
At its launch, OnLive received mixed reviews, with noticeable input lag and quality degradation in some games. However, Sony has had three years to perfect that technology and offers streaming through its PlayStation Now service.
PlayStation Now is very close to perfect, but it still has some issues. Its primary focus is on PS3 titles, and its unable to offer high resolutions.
With the Xbox One X, Microsoft has proven its commitment to 4K. With three years and its huge infrastructure, it may be able to offer it entirely over streaming. By that point, average internet connections may also be fast enough to support it.