Microsoft’s cloud gaming service, xCloud, launched earlier this month as part of its 14.99/£10.99 Game Pass Ultimate subscription. A week later Amazon announced that it intends to enter the game streaming space and compete with both Microsoft and Google’s Stadia.
Yahoo Finance asked Xbox’s Phil Spencer whether this heavyweight investment in cloud gaming could see the forthcoming console generation become the last, and the exec replied that Xbox is “absolutely” planning for more console hardware.
“We’re about putting the player at the center. It’s not about the device in the middle anymore,” Spencer replied. “You see that in every other form of media: my TV is with me wherever I go, my music is with me wherever I go.
“I’m in control of the experience and I think gaming is going through that same transformation, which is why as you say, if you’re a Game Pass subscriber you can now play your great games on our Xbox console, on your PC or now on your Android phone via streaming.”
Spencer added: “In terms of future hardware, absolutely I think we’re going to see more console hardware down the road. Just like in video, just like in music it’s not that streaming has cut off device innovation. I think we’ll continue to see that and that’s absolutely what we’re planning for.”
Xbox Series X and S will launch on November 10. In a recent interview, Spencer suggested that the Game Pass subscription service could play a key role in attracting customers to the console, in the absence of delayed launch title Halo Infinite.
He told Gary Whitta’s Animal Talking Twitch show: “What you’ll see from us around the launch of the console, frankly, isn’t going to change too much because you were going to hear a lot about the console and a lot about Game Pass and how we think those two things together are a real great value proposition for gamers going into the next generation.”
He added: “I’d say the positive for us, both through the May showcase and the Summer [showcase] and the July showcase has been the rise of importance for us in Game Pass.
“As we go out and we talk to our customers, it’s becoming a real decision-maker for people that are on our platform and people evaluation Xbox Series X as a console for them.
“Our investment in Game Pass and that portfolio continues to be strong,” the exec continued. “We’ve got some more… really great, strong, announcements to come about things… coming to Game Pass.”