Microsoft may have only just launched the Xbox One X, but that doesn't mean that the company is resting on its laurels. The platform-holder has big plans for the next few years and new comments suggest that these could include an Xbox game streaming service.
In a new report by Bloomberg, newly promoted Xbox boss Phil Spencer suggested that an Xbox streaming service will launch sooner rather than later. "Microsoft will probably debut a streaming service that doesn’t require a console for some types of content in the next three years," wrote the publication, citing comments made by the executive.
The report also reveals that Microsoft has tried to get into the game streaming industry before. Back in 2012, the Xbox platform-holder held a trial for a streaming service, but it was "too costly" and so never made it to market. But in the five years since, Microsoft's Azure cloud services system has affected "economics and quality level," thus making a game streaming platform more affordable.
If Microsoft was to launch a game streaming service then it could prove to be a smart business decision. The success of subscription service EA Access and the fact that so many people are excited to get free Games with Gold each month shows a changing attitude among players. People are no longer solely interested in getting their games the traditional way, and many want new options to play the games that take their interest.
It would also help the Xbox One platform-holder better compete with Sony. Sony's PlayStation Now streaming service allows players to stream PlayStation games to a PS4, giving subscribers access to a library of hundreds of games for a monthly fee.
Even players on PC can stream and play PlayStation games, giving them access to PlayStation exclusives such as The Last of Us. Given that Microsoft is also the company behind Windows PCs, it's surprising that its rival has managed to deliver game streaming on PC before it has.
The development of a streaming service also reflects a major shift for the Xbox brand, as Microsoft seems to be focusing on software rather than hardware. For example, Spencer recently suggested that Xbox One exclusives could come to rival systems and that Microsoft is more interested in how much people play, rather than just selling systems. The full scale of Microsoft's plans are unclear, but it will be interesting to see how the future of Xbox unfolds.