One of the major gaming news stories out of 2018 was when Microsoft announced Project xCloud. Microsoft’s very own game streaming solution hopes to bring console and PC games to mobile devices, allowing people to enjoy the games and franchises that they love any time, anywhere, and from any platform.
It’s an ambitious project and one that will require a significant undertaking and investment from Microsoft to make happen. However, if Microsoft puts in the time and resources, Project xCloud could succeed and it’s all for one simple reason.
Why Project xCloud is Poised for Success
Spoiler alert: that simple reason is accessibility. Project xCloud is Microsoft’s effort to reach out to mobile gamers specifically. While its own mobile operating system and devices have been a glorious failure, according to The Verge, by addressing the real interest in playing console-quality games on mobile devices and making it easy to do just that, Microsoft may have tapped into a gold mine.
Admittedly, Microsoft is a little late to the party as other developers and publishers in gaming have already made significant efforts to appeal to the mobile gaming market. In the traditional gaming space, Fortnite developer Epic Games has made its hit multiplayer title available on mobile devices and it has enabled cross-platform play (play with people on all platforms) as well. In the casino sector, online casinos such as CasinoCruise have tried to offer all of their games – including slots, table games, and roulette games – on mobile as well. Mobile casino apps generally offer all of these games in one place and are well-optimized too, meaning that players get the same experience no matter what platform they’re playing on. If Microsoft is able to deliver such an experience in making its Windows PC and Xbox One games available on mobile, then it could benefit similarly.
How Microsoft Has Already Embraced Accessibility
Microsoft has already made a real effort to embrace accessibility and recent moves by the company show just how important it is to its business to get everyone playing. WIRED shines a light on the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a peripheral that allows those with disabilities that limit their mobility to enjoy games. There are an estimated 30 million disabled gamers in the United States alone, according to that report, making it a smart business decision as much as it is a step forward for inclusivity.
Additionally, Microsoft offers programs such as the Xbox Game Pass – an all-you-can-eat feast of games offered with a monthly (or annual) subscription – as well as Xbox Play Anywhere which gives you a copy of a game on Xbox One if you own it on PC or vice versa. These services and Project xCloud reflect a willingness to adapt to the changing ways in which people are enjoying their games.
Project xCloud is still a while away from launching but, from what Microsoft has revealed, things are incredibly promising. Many will be interested in seeing what other accessibility-focused features the company is able to come up with next.