Microsoft is planning to launch a new streaming video game service. According to The Verge, the company announced the upcoming gaming service at the 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). While Microsoft didn’t reveal many details, it said the service will use cloud technology to provide cross-platform gaming across Xbox, PCs and smartphones.
Of course, Microsoft already offers Game Pass, a subscription-based service that provides access to more than 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles for $9.99 per month. Game Pass, however, isn’t a streaming service. Rather, subscribers must download games to their console or storage device to play them. A streaming service would eliminate the need for downloading games. Like Netflix and Hulu, the service would stream video games directly to the user’s device.
A streaming video game service would allow users to play games without sacrificing valuable space on their device’s hard drive. Even if a user’s hard drive was full, he or she could still play new games.
Streaming video games isn’t a new concept. There are several streaming video game devices already on the market, some of which include the GeForce NOW, CiiNOW, Playcast Media Systems, GamingAnywhere, Parsec and PlayGiga. But nearly all these devices suffer from one or more flaws. Some of these devices have low frame rates whereas others have a limited catalog of games. Assuming Microsoft follows through with its streaming video game services, it may resolve many of these issues.
Microsoft says the service won’t be limited to the Xbox platform; it will also be available on Windows and Android. Unfortunately, Microsoft didn’t announce an official launch date for its upcoming streaming video game service. Being that it typically releases new gaming products and services around the holidays, however, we may see it later this year. Alternatively, Microsoft may wait until next year to launch the service.
In addition to a streaming video game service, Microsoft also said it’s developing a new Xbox console. Phil Spencer, the company’s gaming chief executive, said teams are already “architecturing” the next-generation console. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, considering that Sony also announced that it’s working on a new console to succeed the PlayStation 4.