Phil Spencer on cloud gaming interview


Staff member
May 28, 2019
A number of individuals have touted the future of gaming moving to the cloud or streaming models. There's obvious issues such as lag, the user's own connection speeds, and reliability. Not to mention those of us(myself included) who don't want to be solely dependent on a connection to play our games even though that's somewhat true presently with various providers but even then there can be some workarounds, albeit temporary in most cases.

Phil Spencer on stage during Microsoft's E3 2019 press conference. -- Photo credit: Jason Lewis

Gamespot recently had a nice interview with Mr. Spencer regarding his thoughts on this subject. He doesn't seem to have any illusions about the challenges involved or their target audience for these services. Here's a few quotes from the interview.

"If you bought a big gaming PC and you like playing games there, I want to respect that and meet you where you are and bring the content and services that you want to that device. If you want to buy an Xbox, if you want to play Minecraft on a PlayStation, I want to make sure that comes to you there."

"I think that the cloud inevitability as part of gaming is absolutely true," he continued. "But we have more compute devices around us than we've ever had, whether it's your phone, a Surface Hub, or an Xbox. The world where compute devices are gone and it's all coming from the cloud just isn't the world that we live in today."

"Going back to our transparency, there's a truth that I think is always important for us to talk about with our customers. In xCloud, we are building a convenience capability to allow you to take your Xbox experience with you. Meaning, that's why we focus on the phone, and the experience is not the same as running the games on an Xbox One X. I'm not going to say that it's an 8k 120 hertz thing. That's not what we're doing. We're going to bring convenience and choice to you on your phone."

"Let's take Netflix, which is 20 years old. I think we forget that sometimes because tech moves so fast. It's 20 years old at this point, so it took two decades for us to get to the point where shows like Game of Thrones and House of Cards are some of the biggest shows in the planet and mainly watched via streaming. I think game streaming will get there faster than 20 years, but it's not going to be two years. This is a technological change. While it seems like it happens overnight, it doesn't."

There's much more to the interview and I recommend the read, if nothing else than to debunk some of the re-interpreted quotes floating around the internet.
There is clearly a future for cloud gaming but I don't know how immediate that future is going to be. And personally I don't want to be gaming where I can't if I don't pay the game streaming service a fee.
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