A new report has surfaced diving into the thought process of the Xbox Team, which includes the man who says a lot of things about Xbox’s game culture — Phil Spencer. The report touches on the Project xCloud service and game subscriptions, and what the team has planned for its consoles and reaching a wider audience of “gamers.”
As of today, website geekwire.com has published a piece on what Xbox gamers and folks who despise the long-running company can expect moving forward.
Firstly, the report notes that Microsoft is betting that it can take popular franchises under its belt like Halo and move them to the cloud, allowing folks to play the company’s games on their phones. The reason behind this is that Microsoft laid out this strategy to Geek Wire on a tour of its gaming facilities at Redmond, Washington.
In addition to the above, the executives at Microsoft believe the number of gamers in the world sits at 2 billion.
With the number 2 billion in the equation, Kareem Choudhry — corporate vice president of gaming cloud for Microsoft — notes that consoles won’t achieve that number since there are markets around the world that don’t abide by that lifestyle:
“We know we aren’t going to sell 2 billion consoles, and there are a lot of markets around the world where a console is not necessarily part of the lifestyle.”
To access “2 billion gamers,” the team plans to shift its focus, and that requires widening its platform spectrum. Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, wants to bring its services and apps to as many people as possible, no matter the device.
Contrary to being silent is Phil Spencer; when asked about the company’s cross-device ambitions, Spencer explained:
“We want to bring Game Pass to any device that somebody wants to play on. Not just because it’s our business, but really because the business model allows for people to consume and find games that they wouldn’t have played in any other space.”
The report later highlights how Microsoft has not announced the revenue that consoles bring in versus software and services. However, the report cites last quarter info and how Xbox hardware revenue declined 19%, while revenue from Xbox software and services increased by 32% over the year before.
On the topic of a live service setup, the report also spotlights how Spencer has heard criticism of the model from developers and studio heads that the value of content is lessened when “it’s sitting inside a subscription.”
Contrary to developers and their concern on the subject, Spencer says that subscription services will “ultimately help game publishers,” because “they bring a new audience of people who might be willing to try a game but don’t want to invest the money upfront to buy one.”
When the publication site asked the executives if bringing content to more devices would cannibalize console sales and hurt the company’s financial results, Spencer replied:
“That is not where you make money. The business inside of games is really selling games, and selling access to games and content in means like that is the fundamental business. So if you open it up, the more often people can play, the more they’re enjoying the art form. It increases the size of the business.”
“Not all of those players are going to want to pay $60 to go play something that they haven’t heard of before, and I see that model as being something that can really help us as an industry grow.”
I’m not sure if this will go through or not, but Microsoft will push a public trial of the service sometime later this year.
With that said, what are your thoughts on Microsoft’s plans moving forward? Lastly, you can read the full write-up on geekwire.com.