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The Future of Xbox Isn’t Just a Console

With the Xbox Series X on the horizon, Microsoft’s head of videogame hardware sees a future where consoles may no longer be front and center. Wired reports: Despite its massive push for the Xbox Series X, Microsoft is hedging its bets that a decade from now more and more gamers will be taking a “no gods, no masters” approach to where and how they play. Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, thinks whether consoles will exist in 10 years is the wrong question to ask. “In the long run, to me, it’s a question about the viability of the television,” said Spencer last week in an interview with WIRED. “There’s this calculus, this chess match we’re playing,” says Spencer. “It’s no longer checkers.” Spencer’s chess match isn’t against Sony or Nintendo; it’s against the ever-changing trends in how two billion gamers worldwide consume media. When the Xbox Series X arrives in stores later this year, it will become a part of Xbox’s chimera approach — alongside its cloud gaming service, Project xCloud, and Xbox Play Anywhere — to capture gamers wherever they are. With xCloud, you’ll pay a currently undefined subscription to stream AAA games onto your mobile phone and tablet. With Xbox Play Anywhere, you can buy, say, Forza Horizon 4 and play it on both Xbox One and Windows 10 on PC.
[…] Spencer paints the Xbox Series X and the “game anywhere on stuff you have” pitches as complementary rather than cannibalistic. “I don’t think it’s ‘hardware agnostic’ as much as it’s ‘where you want to play,” he says. Which makes sense: The more ways to play, and the more services Microsoft provides, the more repeatable revenue flowing into Microsoft’s coffers. After the hype around the Xbox Series X cools down and the hardware-content singularity approaches, it’s possible that many of the people opting to play Xbox games will do so on everything except the Xbox. It seems fair to ask whether this generation of dedicated consoles will be the last. “I like watching TV. I like playing games on TV. It’s where I play most of the time,” says Spencer. “I think there will be — for a long time — a world where people want to play on a television, and we’re committed to that and we will deliver great console experiences. I don’t think Xbox series X is our last console. I think we will do more consoles to make that great television play experience work and be delightful.”

And if not, well, the company still has options. “The nice thing about being in a company the scale of Microsoft is we’re able to make bets across a lot of those fronts and we’re not really dependent upon any one of those individual kinds of businesses or relationships to succeed,” says Spencer.


Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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