Ahead of E3 Microsoft and Xbox are putting a heavy emphasis on cloud gaming and its Game Pass subscription program alongside its existing console ecosystem. This includes new, dedicated streaming hardware for any TV or monitor . It is also updating its cloud datacenters to use the Xbox Series X , so that gamers who stream are getting the company’s most powerful hardware. Xbox’s announcement comes ahead of Xbox’s joint E3 games showcase this Sunday with its recent acquisition, Bethesda, and also comes with a slew of new attempts to push Xbox onto just about any device you might already have. The Xbox division is moving to get its software embedded into internet-connected TVs, which would require no additional hardware other than a controller to play cloud games.
Additionally, the company is looking into new subscription offerings for Game Pass. (though it didn’t get into specifics), and is looking into new purchase options for Xbox All Access, which lets people buy the console and Game Pass for a monthly fee, rather than paying up front. (This is similar to how many pay for smartphones in the U.S.). Google Stadia support later this month).
Still, the company sees its consoles, the Xbox Series X and Series S, as its top-notch offering, even while it expands in mobile, on PC and in streaming. In fact, that’s the other major piece of hardware Xbox is working on: the next console.
“Cloud is key to our hardware and Game Pass roadmaps, but no one should think we’re slowing down on our core console engineering. In fact, we’re accelerating it,” said Liz Hamren, corporate vice president of gaming experiences and platforms.
"We’re already hard at work on new hardware and platforms, some of which won’t come to light for years. But even as we build for the future, we’re focused on extending the Xbox experience to more devices today so we can reach more people.”
Cloud gaming in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is set to launch in Brazil, Japan and Australia later this year. Meanwhile, cloud gaming in a web browser, including support for Chrome, Edge and Safari, will go live to Game Pass Ultimate subscribers “in the next few weeks.” The Xbox app on PC will also get cloud gaming integrated this year. PlayStation 5 . Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone to PC but long after their PlayStation 4 releases.) what’s next for Windows later this month, after E3.
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