Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming (Project xCloud) has been available since September. However, it is not quite yet the cross-platform Xbox streaming service Microsoft envisions. At the moment the service is only available on Android because Microsoft pulled the platform from Apple’s iOS.
In the future, Microsoft wants Project xCloud to extend to all types of connected devices, including Windows 10 PC and TV. On the latter front, we recently discussed the company plans to develop a TV stick for Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Speaking to The Verge, Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer has reconfirmed plans for a TV compatible version of xCloud. According to Spencer, smart TV support could come within the next 12 months.
“I think you’re going to see that in the next 12 months. I don’t think anything is going to stop us from doing that.”
Changing the Landscape
Project xCloud has the potential to change much in the gaming realm. High-end gaming on PC has traditionally been off limits for most users, unless they are prepared to spend big on a decent gaming PC. For people with a normal laptop, they have needed to purchase a console to get quality gaming.
Microsoft’s streaming service could change gaming and open console quality gaming to all PC users. That’s because xCloud is based entirely on Microsoft’s own Azure servers. This essentially means the company handles all the heavy lifting, so users won’t need a laptop with cutting edge gaming hardware.
Despite the potential of xCloud, Spencer says it is unlikely Microsoft will abandon console hardware just yet. The company has just launched the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Spencer envisions more Xbox devices in the future.
“I don’t think these will be the last big pieces of hardware that we ship,” says Spencer.
“When we think about xCloud, which is our version of Stadia or Luna, I think what it needs to evolve to are games that actually run between a hybrid environment of the cloud and the local compute capability,” he adds. “It’s really a hybrid between both of those.”