Microsoft Plans to Stream PC Games Through Xbox Cloud Gaming
Internal emails that have been revealed during the FTC v. Microsoft case indicate that Microsoft has been developing a plan to stream PC games through Xbox Cloud Gaming. This decision was initially prompted by the existence of Google Stadia.
The current Xbox Cloud Gaming service allows users to play games on Xbox Game Pass using various devices such as Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, and mobile and tablet devices from Apple and Android. However, it is currently limited to Xbox titles only.
The internal emails, which date back to July 2021, feature discussions about Stadia between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Xbox chief Phil Spencer, head of Cloud Gaming Kareem Choudhry, and head of Xbox creator experience Sarah Bond.
Nadella inquired, “Seems like they will have a leg up because their stuff is more generic Linux VMs + Network… But I am assuming we will do the same for Game Pass PC – right?” Spencer responded by confirming that Microsoft is indeed working on a way to stream native PC games through the cloud. He mentioned, “Google has the ability to reuse their Linux cloud hardware and yes as we stream PC native games from an Azure GPU SKU we would have more re-use scenarios to recoup costs.” Choudhry also chimed in, stating that a suitable Azure SKU is being developed to meet customer demand for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IAAS) and to run the xCloud PC streaming stack.
This move by Microsoft appears to be a response to the competition posed by Stadia, which has since shut down. Spencer noted, “Google is in the process of just trying to turn Stadia into a Google Cloud SKU and do away with their first party consumer service.” He further mentioned that Microsoft’s main competitor in the Xbox Cloud Gaming space is currently Nvidia’s GeForce Now, while also keeping an eye on Google and Amazon with Luna.
While these internal emails showcase Microsoft’s plans to incorporate native PC games into its cloud service, the company has not made any official announcements regarding this matter.
More information has emerged from the FTC v. Microsoft case, including documents that indicate The Elder Scrolls 6 is expected to be released sometime in or after 2026.