Satya Nadella opens up about Project xCloud, the upcoming Xbox “Netflix for games”

Reading time icon 3 min. read

Readers help support Windows Report. We may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tooltip Icon

Read our disclosure page to find out how can you help Windows Report sustain the editorial team Read more

Perhaps, priming the pump of journalism around the Microsoft 2019 news cycle, CEO Satya Nadella spoke with journalists at in invitational editors meeting about the company’s ambitious gaming endeavors.

While various company executives throughout the past couple of years have waxed poetic about how much gaming means to Microsoft; it’s only in rare instances and normally in front of a developer crowd, that Nadella has addressed the degree to which developments in gaming will play out in the company’s grander scheme.

Business Insider is reporting on the company’s CEO speaking with journalists the other day, Nadella offered some candid information about Microsoft’s secret game streaming project, Project xCloud.

“We describe it as, shorthand, ‘Netflix for games.”

As has been reported, the premise is that Microsoft’s push into cloud computing will aid in propelling a high fidelity, low latency gaming experience run mostly, if not entirely from the cloud, thus shifting the gaming landscape from a dependency on peridocial console releases. An additional benefit of unclasping the gaming experience from the traditional big box console is that it would free developers to market their experiences on newer, non-traditional gaming devices such as phones, Smart TV’s or ‘streaming sticks’.

The idea of game streaming isn’t new nor is it exclusive to Microsoft’s brand. Microsoft is in good company with both gaming studios and major tech companies such as Sony, Electronic Arts, Google, Apple, Amazon, Activision, and others when it comes to creating a streaming alternative.

However, the devil is in the details, like most attempts at a high-quality game streaming service all run into logistical quagmires attempting to solve the low latency issue combined with reliable enough internet access for gaming.

To that, Nadella believes that, while not fully resolved at this moment, Microsoft is in a better position than others to tackle the aforementioned issues with game streaming.

“We have as much a shot to build a subscription service as anybody else.”We have as much a shot to build a subscription service as anybody else,”

He also made reference to Microsoft’s dual pillar enterprise and gaming businesses that allows the company to leverage several advantages that singularly focused companies are not afforded.

For instance, “We have a huge back catalog, which is we have our own games,” which is something Apple, Google and Amazon lack at the moment when attempting to court the more affluent hardcore gaming crowd, and they also possess a massive cloud infrastructure to push beyond console limits that its major competitor in Sony, does not yet have established.

“We have a structural position in that we have both a console business as well as a PC business, which happens to be bigger than the console business when it comes to gaming.”

Linking Microsoft’s current despot efforts is its Xbox Live and its related services such as Play Anywhere library and Game Pass which will undoubtedly play larger roles in the company’s streaming future.

Nadella’s discussion with journalists earlier this week is yet another formalization of the concept laid forth by company VP of gaming Phil Spencer, wherein, console-quality gaming should be accessible by all and Microsoft is going to be among, if not, the company to deliver those experiences.