Microsoft announced Thursday that it was working on software that would allow people to play Xbox video games on Internet-enabled TVs without the need for consoles.
The news came as Microsoft and other video game industry heavyweights prepare to showcase upcoming titles at an annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which will happen virtually on Saturday due to the pandemic.
“As a company, Microsoft is fully into gaming,” said CEO Satya Nadella when presenting the plan.
“Three billion consumers are looking for games for entertainment, community, creativity and a sense of achievement, and our goal is to empower each of them wherever they play.”
Microsoft has played with the strength of its Xbox unit while competing with the cloud gaming services Luna and Stadia from Amazon and Google respectively.
The Xbox team is working with TV manufacturers to embed software that allows video games normally played on their consoles to be played straight from the cloud, using only handheld controllers, according to Microsoft.
The US tech giant also announced that it is developing devices that plug into any TV screen or computer monitor to stream Xbox games without a console.
In the coming weeks, cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions will be possible via the Internet browsers Chrome, Edge and Safari, according to Microsoft.
“There’s still a place for consoles and PCs, and honestly there always will be, but the cloud will allow us to deliver a robust gaming experience to anyone who is connected to the Internet,” said Phil Spencer, director of Xbox -Unit.
“And with the cloud, gaming players can fully participate in the same Xbox experience as people on local hardware.
According to Nadella numbers, Xbox Game Pass had around 18 million subscribers worldwide at the end of last year.
Playing video games has increased during the pandemic as people turned to the internet for entertainment more than ever.
Total consumer spending on video games in the United States was nearly $ 15 billion (about Rs.110 billion) in the first quarter of this year, 30 percent more than the same period in 2020, according to industry tracker NPD Group.
Microsoft will be streaming an Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase of games from its studios around the world on Sunday.