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Microsoft gets ambitious with Xbox; Xcloud gets Series X hardware, Smart TV apps, streaming stick, first party games releases per quarter and more.

Xbox_Devices_Halo.0.png

Summary

Before their E3 presentation Microsoft decide to drop a bunch of the new stuff coming to the Xbox platform as a whole, just so in the presentation they can completely focus on games.

 

To begin with Xcloud is getting Series X hardware availability soon within a couple weeks, this upgrade should bring faster load times and better framerates to the streaming service, also the web version should come out of beta soon to be available to all gamepass ultimate subscribers. Smart TVs apps are coming alongside a dedicated streaming stick for Xcloud, the smart TV apps should be coming within 12 months and the stick has no date. Microsoft only said that its working on it. Finally regarding Xcloud, dedicated apps for PC and xbox consoles is coming soon. Microsoft wants to take this opportunity and allow people to try games before purchasing them with the use of streaming.

 

Outside of Xcloud Microsoft is setting itself up with the goal of releasing a first party game per quarter, and of course all of those games being availible in gamepass day one. 

 

Quotes

Quote

“We’re now in the final stages of internal testing, and we’ll be upgrading the experience for Ultimate members in the next few weeks,” says Kareem Choudhry, head of cloud gaming at Microsoft. “The world’s most powerful console is coming to Azure.”

 

“We’re working with global TV manufacturers to embed the Game Pass experience directly into internet-connected TVs so all you’ll need to play is a controller,” says Liz Hamren, head of gaming experiences and platforms at Microsoft.

 

“We’re also developing standalone streaming devices that you can plug into a TV or monitor, so if you have a strong internet connection, you can stream your Xbox experience,” reveals Hamren.

 

“Later this year, we’ll add cloud gaming directly to the Xbox app on PCs, and integrated into our console experience, to light up all kinds of scenarios, like ‘try before you download,’” says Kareem Choudhry, head of cloud gaming at Microsoft.

 

"Games take up to four or five years to make. The reality is that not every project we start will make it to launch. But if you add all that up, that's how we've gotten to our state today, with two dozen studios making games across a variety of genres. And we know that a thriving entertainment service needs a consistent and exciting flow of new content so our portfolio will continue to grow as our service grows."

 

My thoughts

Oh boy, that's a lot of Xbox Microsoft is throwing around, its basically Xbox for you, your mom and dad, brothers and sisters and even the dog! regardless all of this Xcloud push now and the presentation this Sunday they really want to kill the "XbOx HaS No GaMeS" memes, i mean that's the whole point of a gaming platform, the games, and that's all I (and pretty sure the vast majority of people) care about, i wanna see what they show on Sunday, and all of this Xcloud push should make it more accesible. I mean if all its gonna be needed to play Halo and a lot of other games, is a controller and a gamepass sub on my TV, there's gonna be people into it, specially at this moment that consoles and graphics card are ubnobtanium.

 

Sources

https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/10/22527432/microsoft-xcloud-server-xbox-series-x-hardware-upgrade-game-streaming

https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/10/22527461/xbox-xcloud-game-streaming-try-before-download-feature

https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/10/22527420/microsoft-xbox-tv-app-streaming-stick-xcloud

https://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-wants-to-launch-at-least-one-first-party-xbox-game-every-quarter/

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I'm not entirely sure wether Microsoft's bet on cloud and service will pay off compared to Sony, who have a more "traditonal" approach with Playstation

Hi

 

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1 hour ago, Drama Lama said:

I'm not entirely sure wether Microsoft's bet on cloud and service will pay off compared to Sony, who have a more "traditonal" approach with Playstation

See I’m in the opposite camp on this one. I think Microsoft has struggled with the “traditional” approach against Sony this past console generation and they’ve been trying to find a new way to reinvent themselves and appeal to consumers. Gamepass and XCloud are great ways for them to do this and there’s never been a better time to push these services. If memory serves, Sony has predicted that supply of the PS5 won’t be able to meet demand until after 2022. If Microsoft can push XCloud/Gamepass and this streaming stick as an alternative during these shortages they can (possibly) come out on top since I doubt they’ll have shortages for a wifi dongle.

I use an iPad as a computer and play exclusively on cloud gaming...  Where's the nearest hospital peko?

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Also, $15 for gamepass (hundreds of actually good games) and XCloud (the ability to stream games to almost any phone, laptop, PC, TV, or Xbox) is just a great deal (until they jack up the price).

I use an iPad as a computer and play exclusively on cloud gaming...  Where's the nearest hospital peko?

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4 hours ago, Drama Lama said:

I'm not entirely sure wether Microsoft's bet on cloud and service will pay off compared to Sony, who have a more "traditonal" approach with Playstation

Yeah, but the thing is... If you want the traditional approach it's still there. There's just a ton of different ways to play if you want to.

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Did they not see what happened with Stadia, between shitty internet infrastructure at a lot of places all around the world and people wanting to have their own hardware, i just can't see how any kind of push towards cloud based gaming ecosystems are a good move.  There isn't a fucking thing on this planet that will ever convince me to invest my time and money into a gaming system that ceases to exist if the internet dies, fuck that.

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12 minutes ago, Totallycasual said:

i just can't see how any kind of push towards cloud based gaming ecosystems are a good move.

so you just completely ignore the entire GPU and silicon shortage? you know, probably the most talked about issue on this forum? and the source of disappointment in many people?

It's an incredibly good move to launch something like this now.

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3 minutes ago, Arika S said:

GPU and silicon shortage

 

That isn't exactly a long term issue though, the same problems that held Stadia back are going to impact upon any cloud based system. 

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What I'd like to see is GoW remastered series for PC though.

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On 6/10/2021 at 1:02 PM, Drama Lama said:

I'm not entirely sure wether Microsoft's bet on cloud and service will pay off compared to Sony, who have a more "traditonal" approach with Playstation

Nah I think Sony will be begging for mercy once people realize for the price of 2 games a year they can get access to thousands on any device

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Dont get me wrong gamepass is a good concept (even though its also a sign of desperation) but oh boy, whenever they announce "new" stuff for xbox its always "Halo", wowzers...

 

And the we're going to release more first party games from now on is the same thing they're saying since the last 15 years or so 😴

 

10 hours ago, Totallycasual said:

Did they not see what happened with Stadia,

doesnt matter to ms they want the cloud to be happening and at some point its gonna stick, just like the whole xbox division its really just peanuts to them so they'll keep throwing money at the wall until it does.

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Mark Kaine said:

so they'll keep throwing money at the wall until it does

 

Whenever the successful push for cloud based gaming does happen, that'll spell my exit from gaming, i'll cling to the final console they make that can still run its own games without an internet connection.  

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On 6/11/2021 at 2:29 AM, Arika S said:

so you just completely ignore the entire GPU and silicon shortage? you know, probably the most talked about issue on this forum? and the source of disappointment in many people?

It's an incredibly good move to launch something like this now.

It seems in this case, Microsoft is going "me first", and I guess to a certain extent, which includes Stadia and PS's version of cloud gaming, this can work, at least temporarily when the hardware isn't available.

 

Just I kind of fear for the future if everything but indies go cloud gaming, like MMO(RPG/FPS) games already kind of suck just for playing the more characters and actions are on screen already. The best games end up being 4-12 player maps, exclusive of any other players, because then the netcode ends up being too garbage with people who aren't in the same timezone, let alone country.

 

The stuff that actually works the best for cloud gaming are those indie games that are actually 2D/2.5D where you're mostly picking choices/solving puzzles, or 4x turn-based games. Like something similar to simcity or the sims would work best on cloud hardware because the game speed can actually be paused.

 

Aside from that, there is no getting around latency. It's one think to try and play Jackbox.tv where you have 8 people anywhere in the world, and just one person has to stream the game. It's another to try and build a platformer/rhythm game and have the framesync/jitter be so poor that the game has to essentially be run in "reviewer mode(tm)" so it's overly forgiving to get people through it.

 

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On 6/11/2021 at 1:20 PM, SlidewaysZ said:

Nah I think Sony will be begging for mercy once people realize for the price of 2 games a year they can get access to thousands on any device

I doubt Sony will be sweating much, and this is also assuming it doesn't have a counter plan of its own. Microsoft still has a few key problems that might keep it stuck in third place.

 

To start, the Xbox brand doesn't have much pull in most of the world. North Americans think it's a huge name, but outside of their region it's Sony and Nintendo all day, every day.

 

Then there's the games. Yeah, Xbox Game Pass is a great value, but the Xbox still has a reputation for this Microsoftian mediocrity where the few exclusives that are available are "meh." For every Gears 5 there's seemingly a dozen titles like Crackdown 3 and ReCore. One of Sony's biggest advantages is simply the effort it has spent on cultivating genuinely good exclusive franchises like Horizon, God of War and The Last of Us. Until Microsoft figures this out (Bethesda might help), the PlayStation will be more appealing to many people regardless of Game Pass' value.

 

And then there's the console lineups themselves. Microsoft's emphasis on smart TV apps and a stick are, to some extent, attempts to make up for shortcomings in its core console line. Microsoft arguably misjudged the approach to keeping prices low — the Xbox Series S is the cheapest next-gen console at $299, but it's feature-reduced and thus not the 'real' entry point for most people. Sony might start the PS5 higher at $399, but you get the same performance that you would with the $499 model, just without the Blu-ray drive. In other words, it's more expensive to buy the Xbox you really want than it is a PlayStation.

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On 6/11/2021 at 2:21 AM, AlexGoesHigh said:

 

Summary

Before their E3 presentation Microsoft decide to drop a bunch of the new stuff coming to the Xbox platform as a whole just so in the presentation they can completely focus on games.

 

Had to stop reading after this sentence. I got something akin to brain freeze from trying to make sense of this. 
It's difficult for non-native english speaker to decipher the meaning behind the text when written like this.

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On 6/11/2021 at 11:29 AM, Arika S said:

so you just completely ignore the entire GPU and silicon shortage? you know, probably the most talked about issue on this forum? and the source of disappointment in many people?

It's an incredibly good move to launch something like this now.

The shortage will be solved by 2022 though. And then the question is whether streaming services are good enough for people not to switch back to classic hardware. I am not sure that is the case.

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1 hour ago, NeuesTestament said:

The shortage will be solved by 2022 though

Are you sure?

 

Just because the "shortage" is over (assuming it is), the prices may not be. And people may not be willing to pay thousands of dollars on a GPU when their current subscription is sufficient for their needs.

 

EDIT: and even if things stabilize by 2022 and everyone moves off it, then it was a sufficient service to provide at the time and was able to get people playing games when they otherwise couldn't. Either way, it a good option for people to have.

🌲🌲🌲

Judge the product by its own merits, not by the Company that created it.

 

Don't dilute <good thing> by always trying to focus on, and drag conversation back to, <bad thing>.

🌲🌲🌲

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3 minutes ago, Arika S said:

Are you sure?

Everyone in the industry, including the fab companies, are saying it will not be so I'd say a rather wishful opinion. And like you point out even if stock starts to become less or a non issue that doesn't mean prices will return to normal or decrease at a significant rate.

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5 hours ago, Arika S said:

Are you sure?

 

Just because the "shortage" is over (assuming it is), the prices may not be. And people may not be willing to pay thousands of dollars on a GPU when their current subscription is sufficient for their needs.

 

EDIT: and even if things stabilize by 2022 and everyone moves off it, then it was a sufficient service to provide at the time and was able to get people playing games when they otherwise couldn't. Either way, it a good option for people to have.

Yes, I am sure. There will be no extreme shortage over several years. Just not going to happen. And I am very doubtful cloud streaming will retain those customers since it is just not that good.

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