Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, recently did an interview with fortune in which he answered a variety of questions about his company. I want to focus in on what he said about Xbox, the future of gaming, and xCloud.
When asked if streaming will make hardware less relevant, Nadella replied
Our general point of view is that you’ve got to put people at the center, and then everything else that people use becomes relevant. So I don’t sort of make statements like “devices are not relevant” or “software is all relevant.” The mere reality is that we move between devices.
Even in gaming, I may start on a phone; I may go to a console; I may end up on a PC—but your game catalog should be available. Your friends you play with should be there, wherever you’re playing.
Later in the article, Nadella went on to say…
The living room is not the only place where people play games—the living room is a super important place where they play games.
We still love our console, we’re going to have another console. We’re going to keep at it, because we think that there are people who want to play games on the console.
And it just so happens that people love to play games on PCs. We didn’t have much of a value proposition to them other than saying we have the Windows operating system, and we’ve done everything we’ve can to serve developers there. But we’re now going to do even more on the PC.
With Xcloud, we can reach anybody on a mobile phone to play AAA games [gaming’s equivalent to Hollywood blockbusters]. It’s more of an extension than to say what we were doing [in the living room] was wrong or not or didn’t make sense. It’s just that hey, it has become clearer and bigger, we have been able to really jump on that.
What Nadella is saying here isn’t new information, but a reaffirmation of Xbox’s position in the market. They want to be everywhere. They are telling the customer, if you want to play on an console and have the best home experience possible with a console, we have it. If you want to be a PC player, we want to provide you with a great experience. If you want to play on the go, or have no interest in owning a console or PC but still want to play games, xCloud is the service for you.
The comments provided by Nadella are a mirror image of what Phil Spencer has said numerous times. The fact that everyone seems to be on the same page is a good sign going into the next phase of Xbox.
There were questions in previous years about what Xbox’s place was under Microsoft, and whether or not it was a good idea to invest in the brand going forward. Comments made by Nadella and others in support of Xbox’s investment in gaming are erasing any doubts. With a clear vision by the leaders of the Microsoft and Xbox, the future of Xbox looks promising.
For more thoughts from Nadella, including what he thinks of partnering with Sony for Azure, his gaming habits, how he used to cheat playing Civilization, and more, click on the the link at the bottom of the article.
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