Microsoft and Electronic Arts revealed they are working on their own game streaming services.
More specifically, Phil Spencer – Microsoft’s head of Xbox – used the media briefing to push a bigger message: that the company has been listening to fan feedback in recent years, and is willing to spend big to restore industry and player confidence in the brand.
In the E3 conference, Microsoft announced that the War Mode will be available to Xbox One users by the end of 2018.
It’s beginning to look a lot like E3 as the gaming world is getting into the spirit and the first big announcements are starting to roll in.
Microsoft also introduced new innovations to push digital gaming forward, including FastStart, an innovation from Microsoft’s Machine Learning Team, and plans from Microsoft’s Gaming Cloud Team to develop a game streaming service to unlock console-quality gaming on any device. “It’s early days”, said Ken Moss, EA’s technology chief (via CNET).
Studio acquisitions include the US-based Undead Labs (known for State of Decay), the UK-based Playground Games and Ninja Theory (known for the Forza Horizon series and Hellblade respectively), and the Canadian-based Compulsion Games.
It appears Microsoft is still deep in the console development process and is some way out from a formal announcement. By delivering looks at new multi-platform games like Devil May Cry 5, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, The Division 2, Dying Light 2, Just Cause 4, and Cyberpunk 2077, people may just connect those games to Xbox One first and foremost. Former Crystal Dynamics Head Darrell Gallagher is at the head of a brand-new studio, The Initiative.
In the same keynote, Microsoft announced it has bought Playground Games, the developer of the Forza series, with which it has worked closely for years. There has been speculation that cloud-based gaming is the future of that particular industry.
“It’s new for us, a little bit scary”, Howard said of the multiplayer Fallout set to launch in November. Despite strong success with its Xbox Game Pass subscription, streaming allows for a more mobile experience, and even OEMs like ASUS are paving the way with its new gamer-centric ROG smartphone.