Microsoft Xbox

The Future of Gaming: Xbox on Every Screen?

Microsoft recently announced their future plans for Xbox. Some of the moves related to gaming may seem ordinary. In the future, many Xbox games will be available on other platforms and the number of Game Pass subscribers will continue to grow.

Meanwhile, games from Activision Blizzard will be included in Game Pass and new hardware is being developed. This includes a powerful next-gen console. All of these moves are leading to a future that Microsoft has long dreamed of: making Xbox more than just a console.

Microsoft’s Vision: Xbox on Every Screen

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer explained his strategy in an internal memo: “We have a different vision for the future of gaming. A future where players have a unified experience across devices, can easily discover a vast library of games with diverse business models, and where more creators are empowered to realize their creative visions, reach a global audience, build community, and achieve commercial success. A future where every screen is an Xbox.”

This is a bold idea, especially since right now, Xbox is synonymous with the console that sits under your TV. So, if not a physical device, what is Xbox?

Xbox: More Than Just a Console

In an interview with The Verge, Spencer said that “Xbox is our gaming platform and content business.” Interestingly, he didn’t use the word “console.”

Instead, Xbox is an idea, a platform that encompasses various areas. It started as a console, now PC and cloud are a big part of the Xbox strategy, as is the Game Pass subscription service.

With the addition of Activision Blizzard (and its games like Candy Crush and Call of Duty Mobile), as well as the potential for Microsoft’s mobile app store, you can add mobile devices to the mix as well. One day, we might see handheld devices enter the mix.

The company seems to be taking measured steps to achieve this future vision. They are not focused on one part of the strategy alone, but rather selling hardware along with games and subscriptions. Microsoft believes that they don’t need every Xbox gamer to subscribe to Game Pass or buy a console.

However, they hope that in the future they will be able to have both options, along with all the other initiatives that are underway such as cloud and mobile, creating the core of what the brand is now and where it is headed.

Testing the Multiplatform Strategy

Take the launch of games on other platforms as an example. Microsoft has said it will bring four existing Xbox games to PS5 and Switch.

The company sees this as a kind of test. “I’ll learn about our partnerships with other platforms,” Spencer said. “I’ll learn about what happens with our players.”

Rather than committing to every major Xbox game also being on other platforms, and the excitement that would surely come if Starfield were to come to PS5, the company is testing the strategy with a few smaller single-player games and live-service games that could get more players.

Will It Succeed?

The question is, will this strategy ultimately succeed, and it’s too early to say? What is clear is that something needs to change.

For years, Microsoft has been in a stable third place behind its biggest rivals, and both PlayStation and Nintendo have largely stuck to the idea of selling consoles with big exclusive games.

Sony sees opportunities on other platforms like PC, Nintendo is expanding into various forms of entertainment, and both are trying subscription services.

However, right now, their core strategy hasn’t deviated much from the traditional console business. Despite having all the resources, Microsoft hasn’t been able to compete that way, so now they’re trying something very different – with the potential to be much bigger.

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