informa
/
Console
News

Xbox head: xCloud aims to complement video game hardware, not replace it

Xbox head Phil Spencer says that the company views xCloud as a long-term solution, but one that isn't out to render in-home console and PC setups obsolete.

"It’s really about choice and convenience. It’s not about replacing what you do today."

- Xbox head Phil Spencer shares how xCloud fits into both its current and future plans.

While Stadia has led with the idea that cloud-based game platforms represent a “box-free” future for the game industry, Xbox leadership envisions cloud-based tech co-existing alongside physical hardware in a way that makes existing platforms more convenient.

Xbox head Phil Spencer spoke about how xCloud fits into the company’s plans alongside several other topics in a chat with The Verge following Xbox’s E3 press conference this week. In short, Spencer says he's more interested in working with Xbox's playerbase to create something that works for players' needs "and not saying, 'We know what you want, and here it is.'"

As detailed at E3, xCloud's data-center driven tech is similar at first brush to Google’s Stadia service. But while Google has said several times that Stadia offers a peek at a console-free video game future, Spencer sees xCloud as technology that currently complements physical game hardware and adds an extra level of convenience to existing offerings.

“I will also say, others out there might be trying to tell you that streaming is the solution to all gaming ills today. We look at xCloud as a long-term solution,” Spencer tells the Verge. “Today, it’s really going to be: when you’re not in front of your console or Windows PC and you want to play those games, it gives you the ability and freedom to play games when you’re away. It’s really about choice and convenience. It’s not about replacing what you do today. I don’t need to create more hype around what it is.”

While Xbox is keeping the wants and needs of its current players in mind with xCloud, Spencer says he’s still very much of the mind that cloud-based game services will be an important technology moving forward. But, as he tells the Verge, “that’s years of investment on our part to enable the infrastructure to get there.”

As unveiled at E3, xCloud will allow players to turn their own Xbox One systems into a personal datacenter to use for xCloud streaming when they're on the go. So while the xCloud of today complements existing hardware like Xbox One consoles and PCs, Spencer says the next-generation Project Scarlett is being built with the rise of cloud-based technology like that in mind.

“As we look to define Project Scarlett, we said we know that cloud usage is going to grow,” says Spencer. “So let’s define the core architecture and plan for this platform knowing that it’s going to be a hybrid gaming/cloud scenario where there will be millions of consoles in homes and millions of motherboards sitting in the cloud. Let’s make sure the common architecture is really built for that.”

Latest Jobs

Sucker Punch Productions

Bellevue, Washington
08.27.21
Combat Designer

Xbox Graphics

Redmond, Washington
08.27.21
Senior Software Engineer: GPU Compilers

Insomniac Games

Burbank, California
08.27.21
Systems Designer

Deep Silver Volition

Champaign, Illinois
08.27.21
Senior Environment Artist
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more