Microsoft’s xCloud Announcement: Death of a Platform or The Birth of a Generation?

Images: Nvidia, Microsoft,Google

On the 4th of August, Microsoft confirmed that xCloud will officially launch on September 15th this year and will be included in their GamePass Ultimate subscription. With it brought debate and a raft of predictions that it is going to be a killer of platforms such as Google Stadia.

The games industry is set to top a global revenue of $159bn according to gaming analytics provider Newzoo. So is Microsoft’s most recent announcement really a killer?

Over the last 12 months we’ve seen Nvidia’s GeForceNow exit beta, Google’s Stadia platform launch, the emergence of Shadow and of course Amazon teasing the gaming community with their take on cloud gaming with Project Tempo. I feel that in fact what we are seeing is the acknowledgement from Microsoft that cloud gaming is here and is very much the future of gaming.

This is Microsoft reacting to an emerging market space, so the theory that their technology is going to kill off platforms leaves me feeling somewhat perplexed. In the race for cloud gaming, they are openly admitting that Google and Amazon are competitors in the next generation phase of gaming and all of this before we even consider Sony throwing their name in the ring with whatever the next steps are for PS Now.

In fact, I firmly believe that what we are seeing is the birth of cloud gaming. We have so many ways and devices that you can game, it’s becoming so accessible to those who invest their time enjoying gaming but more importantly to those who don’t get time to play as much as they’d like but need the ability to quickly fire up a game and get playing.

With gaming set to eclipse $200bn in the next 3 years, it’s clear that isn’t going to be driven by hardware, who knows we might even see Xbox Series X and the PS5 be the last of the physical hardware generation.

One thing is for sure, we have exciting times ahead of us and with a multitude of platforms to experience and games to be immersed in, we’ll be here to bring you every twist and turn as it happens.

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