Microsoft is working hardware to improve the software and services experience for Xbox owners. It’s no longer just about console sales for the company. As players are now playing games across multiple devices, Microsoft’s aim is to connect those players across all of those devices, says its head of gaming Phil Spencer.
“Obviously for us, the console is an important part there… but connecting to gamers wherever they are is the vision of Microsoft around what we’re doing in gaming,” Spencer said in an interview with Bloomberg.
This isn’t surprising. Microsoft has made a major shift to software and services under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella. That’s why we’ve seen a lot of Microsoft products launch on competing platforms like iOS and Android in the past few years.
Spencer has also revealed that Microsoft is planning to invest in developing in-house games and it could either start new studios or acquire existing studios for this purpose. This is completely different from what Microsoft has done in the last few years in which it canceled some games and shut down studios.
“We haven’t always invested at the same level. We’ve gone through ups and downs in the investment,” Spencer added.
This obviously doesn’t mean that Microsoft is going to stop selling consoles or won’t work on a new one. Spencer simply adds that Microsoft is probably going to debut a streaming service “that doesn’t require a console for some types of content in the next three years.”
Perhaps this is a subtle hint that Microsoft is thinking about bringing its own Xbox games to other devices through the magic of game streaming. It’s going to be a while before there’s any clarity on this.