The future of Microsoft might be a game streaming service. In an interview with Bloomberg, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said the company will “probably” debut a streaming service in an effort to grow beyond the Xbox.
Bloomberg’s interview with Spencer touches on everything from potential acquisitions to the Xbox One X’s upcoming launch. But it’s Spencer’s comments about a game streaming service that have gained the attention of gamers.
Here’s what Spencer had to say:
Microsoft will probably debut a streaming service that doesn’t require a console for some types of content in the next three years, Spencer said. A 2012 trial of such a service inside the company was too costly and never made it to market, but Microsoft’s progress in Azure cloud services over the past few years is changing the economics and quality level, he said.
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella has championed the company’s cloud-first strategy over the past few years, and it seems that approach will pay off for its gaming division. What form the new service will take is unclear, but the prospect of not needing an Xbox is certainly tantalizing.
Sony’s PlayStation Now service offers gamers access to a catalog of new and old games for a monthly fee—and it’s available on Windows computers. Conversely, Microsoft has an Xbox Game Pass subscription service, but it requires an Xbox, limiting the service’s reach.
Clearly, Microsoft sees an opportunity that could potentially bring its catalog of titles to a wider range of consumers. Three years is a pretty vague timeframe, but perhaps we’ll hear something sooner rather than later.