Microsoft is considering the possibility of introducing a free model for its Xbox Cloud Gaming service that will be supported by advertisements. As of now, Xbox Cloud Gaming is already accessible for free exclusively for Fortnite and in the future, it won’t be a surprise if they go with a similar model.
Microsoft sees this as an opportunity to expand their service around the world
Tim Stuart, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Microsoft Gaming hinted at the potential adoption of this approach for their cloud gaming model during an interview at the Wells Fargo TMT Summit towards the end of November 2023, as reported by TweakTown. He mentioned that it also aids in geographic expansion, possibly as a final point.
Tim Stuart explained: “The vision I like to talk about is we have xCloud game streaming, so you can subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate and you can stream hundreds of games to any endpoint that has a browser experience. For models like Africa, India, Southeast Asia, maybe places that aren’t console-first, you can say, hey, do you want to watch 30 seconds of an ad and then get two hours of game streaming?“
Speaking of the Xbox Cloud Gaming, it is part of Microsoft Gaming’s Xbox service that allows players to play games on the Xbox Game Pass on PC, Xbox, and Mobile. It entered beta testing in November 2019, and officially launched for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers on September 15, 2020, for Android devices, followed by the iOS launch the next year with the service gradually expanding to multiple regions.
To be fair, implementing this system would be highly beneficial for mobile gamers. With touch controls being easy to access and a popular one at it too, introducing such a system could attract players looking to enhance their gaming experience and add to their entertainment value. Given how Microsoft continues to push into cloud gaming, this might be the right model to bring in more audiences, especially from the handheld device market.