Microsoft eyes-up the cloud as its gaming future beyond Xbox

Microsoft eyes-up the cloud as its gaming future beyond Xbox

If Microsoft can convince third party publishers to make new games available as a subscription service, gaming will have changed forever and Microsoft seems to think they have scale to pull it off.

In Europe, Zander said, Microsoft's engagement with financial institutions and regulators in Switzerland over the past several years has led to a deeper understanding of the market and the opportunity for locally delivered, trusted enterprise Cloud services.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) launches a new gaming cloud division. This project - headed by Kareem Choudhry, a corporate vice president at Microsoft who reports to Xbox head Phil Spencer - is focused on making sure game makers both in and outside the company have tools to build powerful and reliable internet-connected games.

"Those were conversations that started happening last summer, and we really started creating the structure of the organisation at the end of previous year". The new division is chiefly used to allure developers and publishers to Microsoft's various cloud services.

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Ubisoft already use Microsoft's Azure cloud service for its Rainbow Six: Siege title across PC, Xbox, and PS4. We're already seeing hints of such a service in Microsoft's subscription-based Xbox Games Pass, but at some point in the future, we could see Microsoft attempt to roll out full-blown game streaming not only to Xbox, but also to other gaming devices - possibly even competing platforms, should the stars align. From Havok in 2015, Simplygon in 2017, to PlayFab earlier this year, you've probably never heard of any of them, but they're important for Microsoft's bold cloud gaming ambitions. Today, the software giant is unveiling a new gaming cloud division that's ready for a future where consoles and gaming itself are very different to today.

"We believe there is going to be 2 billion gamers in the world, and our goal is to reach every one of them", explains Choudhry.

In Germany, Microsoft's additional investments aim to help empower more organisations and businesses in Germany and across the globe to digitally transform with cloud services. "We're really pleased with the success that's happening [with Game Pass]", says Choudhry.

In the short term, the firm may be looking to create a rival to Sony's PlayStation Now service, which leverages cloud tech to enable games to be played efficiently on lesser hardware.

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