In a recent interview, Phil Spencer, the head of Team Xbox at Microsoft spoke about Xcloud. The premiere Xbox game streaming service, brought to gamers on Android devices through a Game Pass Ultimate subscription. But the most attention grabbing part of the interview was when Spencer hinted at future Xcloud dedicated hardware. That’s right, you read this correctly. Streaming sticks for TVs. Think Google ChromeCast or the Amazon Fire Stick. But this potential Xcloud stick would be seemingly dedicated to gaming, not streaming media like the competitors. That means a full on TV stick to play the solid Game Pass catalog through the cloud.
“I think you’re going to see lower priced hardware as part of our ecosystem when you think about streaming sticks and other things that somebody might want to just go plug into their TV and go play via xCloud,” the Xbox Boss said, going on to add, “You could imagine us even having something that we just included in the Game Pass subscription that gave you an ability to stream xCloud games to your television and buying the controller.”Phil Spencer during the interview, giving his feelings and ideas for the future of his division’s Game Streaming future.
So what does it do for Xbox?
This would be an interesting and curious turn for Microsoft and their gaming division. If Spencer and team released new hardware for Xcloud, it would open the door to new gamers. There will always be a big market for enthusiasts and those who prefer the classic experience. The type who opt for a fully fledged console to natively run games, but this Xcloud device would target a different group. It would target those who either don’t care for a console, or those who can’t afford it. With Amazon pushing into streaming with Luna, this could be a wise move if Microsoft and Xbox want to stay dominant with Xcloud. After all, Spencer did say that Amazon and Google were Xcloud’s competition.
I’ll also say that this Xcloud investment would have no ill effect on the Xbox console. Recently Phil Spencer also said that he sees Microsoft continuing to put a focus on dedicated consoles. From what he’s said, the Xbox Series X won’t be the last monster from Team Xbox. That passion to continue console generations shows that Xcloud is just another ecosystem layer. Not a replacement.
What do you think of this? Are you dedicated to using your Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One? Or would you consider trying out an Xcloud Streaming Stick? Feel free to let us know on Twitter at @GenerationX_box and be sure to check back as more information comes out about the Xcloud strategy that Microsoft is tackling. You can count on finding it here at Generation Xbox.