Microsoft targets ‘Netflix for games’ with Project xCloud

Microsoft wants to be the first company to create a fully-fledged “Netflix for games,” according to CEO Satya Nadella.

Speaking to the press at the end of last week, Nadella detailed plans with its Project xCloud initiative to create a cloud-based streaming service.

These plans go a lot further than the current Xbox Games pass initiative, which gives Xbox One owners access to a selection of titles from the back catalogue.

In comments reported by Business Insider (via GamesIndustry.biz), Nadella says: “We describe it as, shorthand, ‘Netflix for games.’ We have as much a shot to build a subscription service as anybody else.”

Nadella says Microsoft’s large back catalogue of games on the Xbox and Windows platforms gives it the best opportunity for success.

“We have a huge back catalogue, which is: We have our own games,” he added. “We have a structural position in that we have both a console business as well as a PC business, which happens to be bigger than the console business when it comes to gaming.”

Microsoft plans to begin public trials of the Project Cloud project, which would bring console and PC titles to a huge range of devices, including smartphones. In a post on the Microsoft blog last October, the company said it will use “state-of-the-art global game-streaming technology”

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While the service would likely start with older titles, Microsoft has also said developers working on games for Xbox One and PC will “be able to deploy and dramatically scale access to their games across all devices on Project xCloud with no additional work.”

Nadella’s comments came on the same day Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang claimed cloud-based gaming would never replace the need for dedicated high-end hardware.

Our core starts with PC,” Huang says. “That’s our center point. That’s why GeForce Now plays PC games. That’s why GeForce Now allows you to take the PC games you’ve purchased and play them anywhere. That’s why GeForce Now runs every game that’s available. No porting is necessary.”

“Our strategy is very different [from competitors]. There are other strategies around streaming games, like Netflix or something like that. I think that’s terrific. The more expansive the gaming market is, the better.”

Then he claims: “It will never replace the PC.”

Do you think a “Netflix for games” could replace the need for consoles? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.