While Microsoft is still a major player in the console gaming market, the Xbox 360 maker is envisioning a future beyond the current set-top box model. In a talk at the Game Developers Conference China yesterday, Microsoft cloud evangelist Brian Prince called game streaming services like OnLive and Gaikai "the distant future of gaming in the cloud," according to a Gamasutra report.
Those services are already up and running, but Prince said they face several limiting factors at present. For developers, he said the services' current focus on AAA PC games is a problem, as they are less likely to talk to companies interested in streaming other types of games. Additionally, the player base is limited by the requirement for high-speed Internet access, something which is not yet ubiquitous.
Although Prince considers streaming game services the far-flung future, he's still working on bringing cloud-based features to Microsoft's console in the present.
"You will be seeing things in the Xbox platform that's cloud specific," he told the audience. "I'm already doing it; it's really exciting, but I can't tell you about it or else I'll get fired."
Microsoft has already revealed cloud-based game saves as a feature intended for an upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard update.