Cloud gaming has been promising to eliminate the need for game consoles for years but this time it could actually happen. Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming has just brought Fortnight to its platform for free, making the game available on any device with a web browser, sidestepping Apple’s ban and isn’t likely to stop there.
The beauty of cloud gaming is that all the game processing power is centrally on large servers and all that needs to be streamed is the picture. This means that any phone, tablet, computer or even TV can become a gaming machine.
A cloud gaming offering doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the console though. Local processing power and RAM may still have benefits for graphically demanding games. The answer here could be that consoles take a hybrid approach, providing the cloud connection but avoiding any potential lag by having the local system hold some of the information.
According to The Verge (opens in new tab), Microsoft’s Xbox Everywhere is the new umbrella term for its xCloud services, which include Xbox Cloud Gaming. This is likely to include TV pucks and apps to allow you to play Xbox games across a range of devices in addition to browser access.
Microsoft first pitched this idea as far back as 2016 and again in 2020, when it was due to arrive in 12 months. But this time feels different, especially with the recent progression of Xbox Cloud Gaming.
In the absence of E3 this year, Microsoft is holding its own Xbox & Bethesda Game Showcase (opens in new tab) on June 12. Could this be when we officially hear about Xbox Everywhere? You might want to put your console order on pause, just in case.