The Xbox Series S and X are off to a great start, beating the PlayStation 5 in many markets such as India while also having more units available for purchase. Microsoft has now shared its plans on how it looks to reach more gamers in the future.
Jerret West, the CVP of Microsoft Gaming, shared an update around how the first month post the launch was, engagement figures and upcoming plans. Most importantly, he confirmed that Xbox cloud gaming will expand to include iOS and Windows-powered devices starting Spring 2021. The support for iOS devices will be routed through the mobile web browser, presumably to avoid paying a cut to Apple, as per the App Store policies. The beta run will be a part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
Similar to Google Stadia and Amazon Luna, Xbox cloud gaming allows users to enjoy titles on their phones or other devices over the cloud. The processing is offloaded to the console, while the gameplay is relayed to the phone over a reliable internet connection. Android devices are already supported in some markets, but the service is yet to be available in India. The next wave will include Australia, Brazil, Japan and Mexico.
Some interesting statistics around gameplay were also shared. In November, Xbox Game Pass monthly engagement grew by more than 100% over the same period in 2019. With Smart Delivery, more than 1.6 million seamless upgrades were delivered. Over 40% of the new users played on the Xbox Series S, suggesting that the lower starting price did attract many first-timers. The most played games were Destiny 2: Beyond Light, Rainbow Six: Siege, Tetris Effect Connected, and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order.
Next year, Microsoft will also complete Bethesda’s absorption, taking the total number of creative team studios to 23. 2021 will also see the rollout of many highly anticipated title such as Farcry 6, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Resident Evil Village, Halo Infinite and more.