Microsoft has launched a cloud gaming devision, which could signal the firm is setting up for a future without dedicated Xbox console hardware.
A report from The Verge reveals Microsoft is encouraging developers and game publishers to make use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure. The company says Ubisoft titles like Rainbow Six: Siege are currently leveraging the tech.
In the short term, the firm may be looking to create a rival to Sony’s PlayStation Now service, which leverages cloud tech to enable games to be played efficiently on lesser hardware.
Microsoft’s cloud-based approach could make it possible for multi-player modes within Xbox-quality games to be available across a number of devices and platforms.
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“We’re looking at ways to make that content available to anyone no matter what device they’re on,” said Kareem Choudhry, who’s fronting the new division.
“We believe there is going to be 2 billion gamers in the world, and our goal is to reach every one of them.”
No more Xbox hardware?
Long term it’s likely to tie into Microsoft’s admission that console gaming generations will become a thing of the past.
That content is likely to be delivered via a subscription service, a greater expansion of what Microsoft currently offers through the Xbox Game Pass platform.
Choudhry added: “What we’re doing with game pass and creating a subscription-based product, where over half the content is third-party content. I would say we’re getting started from a subscription product perspective.”
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