A conversation between the head of Xbox Phil Spencer and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has revealed more details on Xbox’s Cloud Gaming platform. While still currently in Beta, Xbox Cloud Gaming allows you to play a selection of Xbox console games through your browser on a PC or mobile device. This opens up gaming to a wider, non-console-owning audience.
While the pair are quick to point out that there will always be a place for consoles, the service does offer an alternative for Xbox gaming. Ahead of the Xbox and Bethesda Games showcase that is taking place on Sunday as part of E3 2021, the focus is on democratizing gaming with the Xbox experience becoming available on lots of new devices.
In addition to browser and app access, the Xbox app is set to be built into smart TVs. This would allow users to play with just a controller and Game Pass subscription. Xbox is also planning on building streaming devices for Cloud Gaming that could be plugged into any TV or monitor. The streaming hardware is likely to be little more than a dongle, like the Amazon Fire TV, that plugs into your TV or monitor and provides Bluetooth connectivity for the controller.
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Thanks to the power of Microsoft’s cloud computing, Azure, Cloud Gaming will be able to handle some powerful processing, all you need is a solid internet connection. Consoles, however, will offer the benefit of local processing power for years to come and are therefore likely to be able to support more intensive gameplay.
Console users will also benefit from the Xbox Cloud Gaming. The service will also be built into consoles and allow users to play a preview of games before downloading them. This will not only help users decide if they like the game but will let them play a version without waiting for a long download on release day.
Watch the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase (opens in new tab) on Sunday, June 13 at 10am PT/1pm ET (6pm BST).