Microsoft may be about to launch a new physical console, but Xbox Game Pass is their real focus going forward. Microsoft wants to be the Netflix of gaming, with people playing Game Pass on every possible device and platform through cloud gaming, and in a new interview with Stratechery, Phil Spencer hinted at what might be next for the service.
Microsoft already offers two subscription tiers – basic Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which also includes Xbox Live Gold, cloud gaming, and access to additional services, including EA Play. Well, according to Spencer more tiers may be on the way, including Xbox Game Pass Platinum, which would include access to new Xbox hardware. This would essentially make it a replacement for Xbox All Access, which includes Game Pass and hardware which you pay for in monthly installments.
Meanwhile, Spencer also teased that Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass (previously known as Project xCloud) could go the route of Google Stadia or Amazon Luna. Currently Microsoft allows you to stream games to Android phones and devices (with iOS and PC coming next), but it sounds like streaming sticks to play on your TV are also in the plans…
I think you’re going to see lower priced hardware as part of our ecosystem when you think about streaming sticks and other things that somebody might want to just go plug into their TV and go play via xCloud. You could imagine us even having something that we just included in the Game Pass subscription that gave you an ability to stream xCloud games to your television and buying the controller.
Could Microsoft be the ones to actually make the Stadia/Luna model work? They probably have a better shot at it than Google or Amazon. What do you think about Game Pass and cloud gaming? Do you see a future where you’re happily playing Halo Infinite with just a streaming stick?