Xbox Game Pass Will Eventually Be On "Every Device," Phil Spencer Says

Microsoft wants to reach billions of players.

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Microsoft has big plans for its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. Speaking at an event today, Xbox boss Phil Spencer talked about how Microsoft not only wants to bring Xbox Game Pass to PC, which Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella first revealed earlier this year, but also to "every device" out there. Speaking at a Barclays conference in San Francisco, Spencer talked about how Xbox Game Pass--when it eventually comes to more platforms like mobile through streaming--will help Xbox reach billions of gamers worldwide instead of millions.

"When you think about reaching a customer with this content where their only compute device could be an Android phone, you think about, 'What are all the ways that person pays for content today'? So we need to make sure that we're world-class at free-to-play content, but we also look at subscription as a much lower barrier way for a customer to build a library of content," Spencer said.

"So we built Xbox Game Pass--it started on console, it will come to PC, and eventually it will come to every device--we use the flywheel that we have with customers on an Xbox to start the growth in Xbox Game Pass. But as somebody sitting back and taking a longer-term view of where our business is going, you should look at that as a business model that we think scales to billions of people not hundreds of millions of people like retail does."

Xbox Game Pass could come to mobile through Microsoft's new game-streaming service Project xCloud. Microsoft is already testing this service internally, and Spencer mentioned that he was using the service during his recent travels. Right now, the service streams from a data center in Washington, but eventually, it will roll out in other places around the world. Spencer said Microsoft is uniquely positioned for success in streaming because it has Azure data centers around the world already, which would in theory help cut down on latency issues.

Also during the Q&A, Spencer talked about how Microsoft's recent acquisition spree--it's acquired or established seven new studios in the past six months--is all about the company building a bigger network of studios to help support its efforts for Xbox Game Pass and the wider Xbox catalog.

Xbox Game Pass costs $10 USD per month on Xbox One, and for that fee you can play more than 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. Microsoft sweetened the deal further this year by announcing that all first-party games will launch into Xbox Game Pass, meaning subscribers this year got Forza Horizon 4, State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves, and others at no extra cost. Next year, subscribers will get Gears 5 for nothing extra, while Halo Infinite will also eventually come to the service. While Xbox Game Pass is similar in structure to Netflix, games are downloaded, not streamed. However, Spencer is suggesting that Xbox Game Pass may eventually include support for streaming through xCloud (which is a working title), and that's an exciting prospect to think about.

Xbox Game Pass already has "millions" of subscribers, so it does indeed seem to be off to a good start. According to Spencer, another benefit of Xbox Game Pass is that it introduces players to genres they might not otherwise check out. Developers theoretically stand to benefit from putting their games in Xbox Game Pass, too, as it might help bring in new players potentially years after release in a similar way to how you might check out an old show on Netflix, enjoy it, and watch more.

What are your thoughts on Xbox Game Pass and subscription services for games in general? Let us know in the comments below!

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Avatar image for Thanatos2k

Considering I like owning my games and streaming games is crap, it won't be on my devices.

Avatar image for lonewolf1044

I like the idea expect I do not play on tablets or phones but it may be a boon for MS as many people do play on tablets and phones. I am already an member and I am pleased with it. EA Access also has an similar program and I like that too as I play almost all thier just released games on day of launch. Of course Steam is tops but there is always room for more at the top.

Avatar image for moonco


Avatar image for edwardnygma

Yeah no.

Avatar image for flipmode_1

give me game pass on my ps4

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

I'd rather not stream games, so the "every device" thing doesn't interest me.

Avatar image for darkelf83

@girlusocrazy: Me neither and I thought MS had the right of it with Game Pass letting you download the games. Now I see that MS realizes that Sony has the right of it and if you want to reach more customers you need to be on more devices. That won't work with downloads and so they are getting into streaming. For reasons unknown Sony hasn't been pushing it much lately, maybe this will help.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@darkelf83: Well providing both and having the choice is not bad. Sony went and added the ability to download games with PS Now so I guess Game Pass and PS Now are more similar. I just wouldn't stream a game.

If I'm at home I'll play the game directly and if I'm away I probably don't have the bandwidth, good latency, or time available to enjoy the same games, and I don't carry a controller around with me anyway.

I guess it could avoid people buying the console, but that seems like something a casual gamer might do and these services provide more hard core games. All the casual games are available on every device anyway.

I'm not sure who the game streaming is for.

Avatar image for jagdedge124

Well, they seem to do a lot of things in bringing Xbox to PC, but did they ever think about bringing PC to Xbox? Steam is now dealing with competition with Unity.

Ever think about talking to the Gabester, about maybe a Steam App, in so maybe we can play games in our Steam library, on X? You can reach millions more gamers that way as well.

Avatar image for Barighm

@jagdedge124: MS will likely resist the idea, but, yes, it's entirely possible Steam will do the same and their service will be better simply because their catalogue is so much better.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

@jagdedge124: Microsoft would lose are large chunk of the profit it makes from every game it sells on xbox/Windows store. There is literally no benefit to them if more people start buying from steam while they lose that 20% to 30% cut they get from every game sold. There is a reason why Microsoft is forcing you to use the Windows store on PC for their exclusives

Avatar image for jagdedge124


Well how's the Windows store going? If they could reach a deal, in that like what Steam did with their console machines (now defunct), that only certain games were playable on their OS, it could be the same type thing.

I'm not saying the store, but just to play the games you have in your library, that both Microsoft and Valve can agree with. Indie games come to mind, where they can even get a cut from both Xbox and Valve, if it's usable on both systems.

That can really help Xbox with their "games" problem as well.