For years, "cloud gaming" has been touted as the future, removing the need for consumers to buy expensive hardware and run games locally.
Microsoft has established a new unit within Xbox that aims to entice developers into using the company's Azure cloud-computing service. While these acquisitions have been taking place, Microsoft has been reshuffling its gaming teams as the company prepares to launch its own cloud gaming services.
Many of these scenarios are still a ways away from being realized, especially when you consider that this cloud gaming division was only created at the end of previous year. And Microsoft sees this as an area to grow into, particularly when it has the second largest cloud infrastructure in the world which already supports its Xbox Live services.
As The Verge notes, this isn't the most surprising news, as the behemoth company has been swallowing up and acquiring multiple gaming-related companies over the years with Havok (2015), Simplygon (2017), and PlayFab (2018), all of which have bolstered its ambitions in the space of cloud gaming. "We continue to believe in user choice, and we also believe there's room in the industry for a gaming subscription and that's what we're going to build".
With that being said, 2018 looks to be the year Microsoft goes guns-blazing in selling the Xbox One and this will be ample time for Xbox 360 gamers to make the leap to the new generation consoles. However, the problem lies with rival companies such as Sony and Nintendo who may not comply in giving their games. Nevertheless, Microsoft can change the landscape of gaming if it pulls it off. This is an issue seen in the Xbox Game Pass.
Nevertheless, Microsoft is firing on all cylinders with a new direction for gaming. "Not only does the Microsoft Theater allow us to centralize our Xbox presence at E3, but its size enables us to include even more fans and partners in the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing than ever before", said corporate VP Mike Nichols in an Xbox Wire post. However, the prospect of having a single service like Netflix offering all your favorite games for a cheap monthly price is very attractive indeed.