In late October, a couple of weeks after Microsoft finally closed the deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, the company made some adjustments in its executive ranks. One of them was giving its long-time Xbox head Phil Spencer a new title: CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
The new title gives Spencer all the power at Microsoft to improve and expand its gaming efforts; not just with its Xbox consoles but with PC gaming and, as has been previously reported, a new effort to launch a future third-party mobile gaming store.
In a new interview with Windows Central, Spencer made some comments about the company’s possible future gaming plans. One thing that was brought up was the company’s cloud gaming efforts. Spencer stated originally that it was planned to be a way for Microsoft to enter the mobile gaming space, but in the US, it’s turned into a way for Xbox gamers to try out games on the cloud before they purchase them or download them for Xbox Game Pass.
Spencer stated that those uses were not expected at Microsoft and that has helped the company think about what else could be done with cloud gaming. He then added:
There’s a roadmap of those things coming as well. There’s a hardware roadmap, there’s a service roadmap, maybe there’s even a roadmap for improvements to Xbox achievements, which I know is something that you and many others care about.
We need to make sure we’re exposing roadmap to our customers to keep them excited. We know that our customers want to know that, as Xbox continues to grow, that we still have a commitment to them. We want our Xbox core customers that have been with us all along to feel respected.
Spencer also talked about efforts to help improve playing games on any device, thanks in part to the rise of portable gaming PCs. He stated:
I think a lot about product entitlement, and we have Xbox Play Anywhere. Xbox Play Anywhere has been a long term part of our strategy, though I don’t think we’ve made as much progress as maybe we could have over the years that’s been out. But as I see these handheld PCs come along, I think things like playing anywhere, and my ability to keep my games library with me and allowing me to play those on different devices, including cloud streamed at some point. We’re looking at the ability to allow you to stream the games that you own.
In addition, Spencer stated that there is a “roadmap for the Xbox Family Plan” even though the company shut down the preview of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Friends and Family plan in its soft launch markets on August 15.
Spencer also made some vague comments about possibly bringing back some game franchises from the Blizzard library of titles, stating:
I’m not one to try and lead people on. It might not happen on the timeline that people would love, but usually when I tease, there’s something there.
Also, Spencer did refute some speculation on the internet this week, spurred by comments from Xbox CTO Tim Stuart, about Microsoft wanting to add Xbox Game Pass to Sony and Nintendo’s consoles. Spener said that ” . . . we have no plans to bring Game Pass to PlayStation or Nintendo. It’s not in our plans.”