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Microsoft is targeting Sony with the cloud gaming service

The Microsoft Xbox cloud gaming service launched in 22 countries at a low price to attract casual gamers who can now play 150+ games over the cloud on Xbox consoles, Android devices and PCs.

The Microsoft logo is shown in this undated file photo.

The Microsoft logo is shown in this undated file photo. (Reuters)

Microsoft will launch its Xbox cloud gaming service on Tuesday, priced at $ 1 for the first month of new users, to entice casual gamers with the promise of cutting ties with the living room and increasing competition with Sony.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers for $ 14.99 a month can play 150+ games over the cloud on Xbox consoles, Android devices, and PCs.

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A subscriber doesn’t even need to buy a console to play the games, just an Android device and a supported controller.

Launching in 22 countries including the US and 19 European countries means a shift towards cloud gaming for Microsoft, which removes the need for bulky hardware but does require a fast internet connection.

New additions include Google, which has struggled to build a fan base for its Stadia service.

“We built this experience to use as little bandwidth as possible,” said Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft head of cloud gaming. “We also work with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) around the world to ensure a strong connection between players and our Azure data centers.”

The Xbox Game Pass service has more than 10 million members.

The income increases

According to Guilherme Fernandes, an analyst with gaming analytics firm Newzoo, cloud game revenue is projected to increase from $ 20 million this year to $ 4.8 billion by 2023.

Xbox Cloud service subscribers can play hit titles such as Sea of ​​Thieves and Gears 5 as part of the monthly fee. The games library is considered to be the key for the established operators who want to keep their lead.

Analysts believe that demand for immersive experiences through better sound and graphics will drive console sales. Microsoft and Sony are launching next-generation devices this year.

Microsoft announced that the Xbox Series S will go on sale this week in November at $ 299.99, while the more powerful Xbox Series X will go on sale at $ 499.99.

Widely regarded as the winner of the last generation console battle, Sony already offers cloud games through the PlayStation Now service, but this is not available on mobile devices. Sony has not yet announced prices for its next-generation PlayStation 5 console.

Aim for an edge

Gambling is at risk due to demand from home users during the Covid-19 pandemic. Microsoft is committed to providing many ways for users to play through the cloud service and consoles at different prices in order to gain an edge.

One limitation to the growth of cloud games is the latency, or time lag, between pressing a button and seeing the response on the screen. The provision of 5G telecommunications services is expected to accelerate adoption.

The Microsoft service is not available on Apple devices. Epic Games is currently in litigation with Apple over commission fees. This battle is having an impact on revenue models across the industry.

CONTINUE READING: Sony plans to launch PS5 on time

Source: Reuters

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