Microsoft on cloud gaming

Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming is a new and immature technology that the CMA has recognized and faces significant challenges, particularly on mobile devices. While this may grow, particularly on mobile devices, adoption is not expected to be rapid as it requires a significant change in consumer behavior. Research published by the CMA shows that both worldwide and in the UK, where cloud gaming app users had a choice between a provider’s native or web app on Android, around 99% of users used the native app, with 1% using either the web app or a combination of the web and native app. Microsoft and many industry experts expect that gamers on PC and consoles will continue to download the vast majority of the games they play.

Streaming Xbox games without owning a physical Xbox seemed like an impossible dream a few years ago, but it's now a major feature of the platform. Recently, we learned that Xbox Cloud Gaming now works on ARM64 devices, including Surface tablets and laptops. Supported games include Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, and more.

This essentially means that the expanded Xbox app now works across a wider variety of platforms, particularly mobile ones running 64-bit Windows. The blog post notes that Google Chromebooks were recently added to the supported devices list, along with the Logitech G Cloud handheld devices.

However, the reality is that today cloud gaming remains in its infancy and unproven as a consumer proposition. Evidence from Microsoft’s internal documents, data, and third-party reports shows that cloud gaming services are not relevant in any meaningful way to gamers’ “demand for consoles, PCs, and games”, nor is this expected to change in the next few years. No evidence is presented in the Decision to suggest otherwise.

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Microsoft on cloud gaming