Later this year, the company said it intends to roll out the ability for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to play, from the cloud, “select games they already own or have purchased” outside the Xbox Game Pass library.
Ashley McKissick, Xbox’s corporate VP of Gaming Experience & Platforms, explained: “One of the things that [players] told us is, ‘Hey, we would love to be able to stream games that we own, even if they’re not in the Game Pass catalogue.
“And so later this year, if you are a Game Pass Ultimate member, you will be able to stream from the cloud games you purchase and games that you already own as long as they’re cloud-enabled in the catalogue.”
Xbox - Project Moorcroft discussion
Microsoft has also announced ‘Project Moorcroft’, a program which it said will see demos of upcoming games made available to Xbox Game Pass members.
The program will begin rolling out within the next year, it said, beginning with “a focus on providing independent developers from around the world more opportunities to build excitement for their games.”
Participating developers will be able to see how their demos perform, and be compensated, the company claimed.
Microsoft’s Sarah Bond explained in a pre-brief video sent to press: “It used to be that you go to E3, you got to PAX, and you would go visit some of your favourite creators and they would have a piece or a level of a game that you could sit there and play.
“There would be someone from the studio right next to you… and you would get to experience the game, and they would get to generate excitement around what they’re building and what’s coming next.
“Those opportunities are getting smaller and smaller and more difficult to replicate,” she added.
“So we said, ‘why don’t we take Game Pass and make it like a show floor?’ Why don’t we make it possible for a developer to take a piece of their game, release it into Game Pass, generate excitement for what’s coming, and also get that really valuable feedback as they’re tuning and preparing their game for launch?”
Finally, Microsoft claimed it will add “thousands” of new custom Xbox Series X server racks around the world, increasing its cloud gaming capacity by 125%.