This weekend, I noticed that the PS5 and Switch were literally collecting dust, and instead I realized it was because I was playing the game almost exclusively on the Xbox Game Pass. This service has an incredibly rich title. In the past few weeks, Ive has finished Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice, unpacked the box with Unpacking, failed to invest in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, and saw his wife deliver an email on Lake now. Realize your Jedi dreams with Star Wars. Jedi: A corrupt order. With the recent addition of the ability to stream titles from the cloud, it’s also almost as easy to check out new games as you would play on a Netflix show.
But now that Microsoft is paying $ 68.7 billion to buy Activision Blizzard, the biggest acquisition in its history is that other gaming companies will pull me away from the Game Pass as its power and influence grow. It will be even more difficult.
Microsoft has led the price of Netflix-like gaming services
Microsoft has been leading the price of Netflix-like gaming services for years. The company first launched the Xbox Game Pass in 2017 and feels like shopping ever since. Acquired the studios behind Skyrim makers Bethesda Softworks, Tim Schafers Double Fine, and the Forza Horizon series to enhance the developer list and, importantly, the number of games that Game Pass can offer exclusively. Did. With the most expensive plan of $ 15 per month, Microsoft will allow you to play many game pass games on many non-Xbox devices via the cloud. This is also a useful option when it’s difficult to get a new Xbox console.
With Activision, Microsoft can gain huge stability in hit games and make the already excellent Game Pass almost invincible. Especially if Microsoft withholds them from other platforms such as Sonys PlayStation. Perhaps the most obvious potential addition is that Bobby Kotick, Activision CEO of the very popular Call of Duty series, has already shown that streaming Call of Duty may be included on the card. But that’s not all. BlizzardsOverwatch2 could be an Xbox console dedicated to Game Pass. Microsoft may decide to revive Guitar Hero. And of course, Blizzard can easily bring early hit PC games like Warcraft and Starcraft to the PC side of GamePass. These are just a few of the possibilities on the table, and I’m sure Microsoft is thinking more.
Game Pass is a huge part of Microsoft’s gaming strategy, so my colleague Tom Warren claimed in July 2020 that Game Pass was the company’s true next-generation Xbox. And that was before Microsoft made a big deal with Activision with Bethesda. With the company’s huge investment and concentration, the Microsoft League has the upper hand over any competition, making it increasingly difficult for everyone to catch up.
For example, Sony’s subscription efforts on the PlayStation do not provide daily access to the company’s largest exclusive game. This is arguably the biggest advantage of Microsoft’s Game Pass. Sony is reportedly planning to integrate PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services into its GamePass rivals, but Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, who scooped out Sony’s plans, said Sony’s biggest game was It says it cannot be expected to be released. This means you may have to pay the full amount when God of War: Ragnarok is released, but Game Pass subscribers don’t have to drop an extra dime to play Starfield.
Scheduled for spring, this new service has the potential to retain the PlayStation Plus brand. Don’t expect Sony to include a big new game on the first day like the Game Pass. However, Expectations are a stronger product than PlayStation Now.
Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) December 3, 2021
Sony also has the foundation to supplement cloud gaming. The company took a big step in acquiring cloud gaming startup Gaikai in 2012 and launching cloud gaming on PlayStation Now in 2015, but Sony wasted a lot of its lead. Sure, PlayStation Now can stream PS4, PS3, and PS2 games from the back catalog, but Game Pass allows you to stream new Microsoft games such as Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5. Microsoft for the future of cloud gaming after two tech giants announced a partnership in 2019.
Nintendo is even later. Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) allows you to play the oldest games on some companies, but unlike GamePass, you can only play those games on your PC or phone with the Nintendo Switch system. To relive the glorious days of the Nintendo 64 game, you’ll need to pay Premium Tier an additional $ 30 a year. NSO does not offer cloud gaming at all, but Nintendo sells cloud versions of some third-party games, including titles and controls for the three mainline Kingdom Hearts. And, although possible, it seems very unlikely that Nintendo will offer a date and date release for the next title on NSO in the near future. When the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes out, you’ll almost certainly have to buy it.
Other gaming subscription services are also less competitive with Microsoft. The best one is probably EA Play, but it’s already included in your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Ubisoft has its own take, Ubisoft Plus, which is not bundled with the Game Pass, but Ubisoft plans to serve the Xbox in the future. Apple and Google also offer gaming subscriptions, and even Netflix has entered the game, but now all options are limited and all focused on games over the phone.
Microsoft is definitely leading cloud gaming
At some point, cloud gaming seemed like a way for other companies to offer potentially great Netflix-like subscriptions, but that hasn’t happened. Google had a promising plan with Stadia, but decided it wasn’t worth the investment in the original content and closed its in-house game development studio. Amazons Luna, which is still in early access more than a year after its first launch, relies on other publishers for its content, and the publisher that contributes to the major games is Ubisoft (with its own subscription fee). Only operates such a unique Ubisoft Plus channel). Nvidias GeForce Now is technically impressive, especially with the new RTX 3080 layer, but the company has been wrestling with publishers for content rights. Cloud gaming services from companies such as Walmart, Verizon, EA and Comcast are lost. Meanwhile, Microsoft has succeeded in offering cloud gaming as a perk rather than relying on technology as the core of its subscription.
Microsoft’s huge investment in studios like the Game Pass and Activision could help overturn the traditional console business, which was dominated by Sony and Nintendo. All three companies have been in the player’s attention for years with exclusive games from first-party studios that are only available on their respective consoles. To experience the exciting new games that everyone is talking about, you need to buy the right hardware. But with Game Pass, you can play Halo Infinite, one of Microsoft’s biggest games in 2021, on day one with just a good internet connection that doesn’t require a laptop, Xbox controller, and expensive console.
This scenario is consistent with what Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said earlier. The Xbox Series X is coded by Project Scarlett, and in 2019, when the Xbox cloud game hadn’t been released yet, he said he didn’t need to sell a specific version of the console to reach his business goals. After all, the number of people subscribing to something like the Game Pass, the number of games people are buying, these are far better indicators of business health.
Today, Microsoft is competing for a more exclusive game for the Xbox on an unprecedented scale. The $ 69 billion Activision deal is more than double the biggest Microsoft ever, making these games easier than ever. An accessible game pass subscription.
Microsoft is betting that the Game Pass is the future of the gaming industry. Even if it’s wrong, the company will have an impressive roster of new Xbox games. But with that right, Activision’s contract can give it a big lead.
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