Microsoft CEO on xCloud: We Have a Massive Cloud Advantage

Oct 26, 2018

In early October, Microsoft finally unveiled the long rumored Project xCloud that’s looking to bring high-quality gaming experiences to any device via streaming.

This is a huge long-term bid for Microsoft and CEO Satya Nadella spoke about it during this week’s earnings call (transcription by Seeking Alpha).

Related Microsoft’s Xbox BC Team Will Detail Project xCloud at GDC 2019 Next Month

[…] before I get to streaming, the thing that I’ll say is most critical when you think about gaming is having a platform where the gamers are already there. That means you need to have a platform that has a community around it and monetize as well.

So when you see some of the KPIs and some of the strength you saw in quarter, that’s the foundation of Xbox. Xbox has the key gaming community and the monetization capabilities. Whether it’s first-party games or third-party games, we are best-in-class in that monetization and that’s what’s reflected in the results.

So given that structural position, we are going to make sure that we keep increasing the strength of the community. You see that already with Minecraft going to all platforms and that increasing the intensity of the community and you’ll see us do more of that. Obviously, bringing Game Pass to even the PC is going to be a big element of that.

And then streaming is just a natural sequence of it. And the advantage we have with streaming is, we have a massive cloud advantage. And so we’re going to bring obviously what we’re doing with Azure, Azure networking, all to bear in ensuring that Xbox and xCloud is one of the best workloads for it.

So that’s how I see it. It, of course, will increase our reach, but what I am most excited about is the core content and community and the platform we have for monetizing that usage. And that I think is really what gives us even the permission to think about streaming.

Project xCloud will have to contend with Google’s Project Stream, which already ran a public (albeit very limited) test earlier this month with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Right now, these two companies are best positioned to usher in the cloud gaming era thanks to their widespread data centers.