Microsoft Has Established a Department for Games That Will Be Played Exclusively From the Cloud
The future leads in a direction unknown to home consoles. Most of the big
players in the industry are betting on the future in which we will play from
the cloud, and the biggest bet was played by Microsoft. Game Pass and
xCloud are a step in that direction, and now it's time to finally reap the
main benefits of this way of playing.
First Google, then Amazon, this week Ubisoft, and now Microsoft - everyone is talking about games that will run exclusively or mostly on servers. It will be huge worlds that one console or a classic PC cannot perform on its own, physics would be much more advanced, as well as visuals. They will play thousands of players in one session, and since they all play on one hardware, problems like latency and lag are eliminated at the start.
Microsoft has now taken a step forward in that direction. Namely, a completely new division in charge of native cloud titles, exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem, was presented at GDC. Kim Swift, who did a similar job at Google on the Stadia project, was appointed head of the division. Still, Swift left the biggest mark in Valve where she led the development of the Portal.
The new department still has no name, suggesting the whole thing is still in its infancy. Microsoft's plan is to partner with "world-class" studios, which likely include new acquisitions, and then, in parallel, develop technology that will enable this way of gaming in the coming years, but also take advantage of other CPU resources such as machine learning and more.
In the coming years, we’ll find out if Kim Swift manages to do what she failed to do with the Stadium.