As Xbox One X hits the shelves, Microsoft hints to be shifting its gaming focus from hardware to software and services instead. According to an interview with Bloomberg, Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, reveals that while hardware sales are important, the company is now more focus on gaming sales, subscription, and other gaming related sales.
During the interview, Phil Spenser noted:
“Now, players are playing the games across every device and we’re connecting those players across all of those devices. […] Somebody can be in a Nintendo Switch playing with somebody in an iPhone. They didn’t buy a device from us, but they’re using Xbox Live. […] Obviously for us, the console is an important part there […] but connecting to gamers wherever they are is the vision of Microsoft around what we’re doing in gaming.”
This news shouldn’t come as a surprise, as focusing on consumer instead of simply hardware has been already part of the new vision of Microsoft. We’ve already seen something similar as the company stopped its efforts on building mobile device and shifting focus on offering software and services to connect users no matter what phone they’re using.
Of course, Microsoft won’t just stop making Xbox console, because it’s still relevant, but we’re now clearly seeing that the company is shifting focus to software and services rather than continue to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 4 sales, which Xbox One has most of the time been one step behind.
As part of its gaming efforts, the company seems to be working to bring its own Xbox games to other devices using streaming technology. Back in 2013, Microsoft demonstrated Halo 4 using a streaming technology at that time, but now, according to Bloomberg, we could be seeing Microsoft debuting with a streaming service that will not require a console for games within the next three years.
Phil Spencer also notes that Xbox has been lacking of solid first-party games, and suggests that we could soon see the company investing more on new content. “Our ability to go create content has to be one of our strengths,” Spencer explains.
It’s been a bumpy ride on gaming for Microsoft. Last year, the company had to canceled studios and even exclusive games. Now the powerful Xbox One X is out, but gamers still waiting for Xbox exclusive titles to put the new console to the test.