Microsoft is planning to stream PC cloud video games, inside emails reveal

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Microsoft has been planning to stream PC video games over the cloud, inside emails from the FTC v. Microsoft case present. Microsoft at the moment streams video games by its Xbox Cloud Gaming service, nevertheless it’s restricted to Xbox titles because the servers run specialised Xbox Sequence X chips. Microsoft has been engaged on leveraging its Azure servers to stream PC video games over Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella emailed Xbox chief Phil Spencer, Kareem Choudhry, head of cloud gaming at Microsoft, and Sarah Bond, head of Xbox creator expertise, in July 2021 after rumors emerged of Google turning Stadia right into a white-label cloud gaming service for builders to run their video games on.

Satya Nadella’s e-mail about Google Stadia.
Picture: US Courts

“Looks like they are going to have a leg up as a result of their stuff is extra generic Linux VMs + Community…. However I’m assuming we are going to do the identical for Recreation Go PC – proper?” requested Nadella. Spencer was fast to reply in simply over an hour to supply up his ideas on Stadia and make sure that Microsoft is engaged on an Azure answer for streaming native PC video games from the cloud.

“Google has the power to reuse their Linux cloud {hardware} and sure as we stream PC native video games from an Azure GPU SKU we might have extra re-use eventualities to recoup prices,” stated Spencer, referring to the power to supply the same white-label cloud gaming service to builders and publishers.

“Phil is appropriate. Sarah [Bond] and I in partnership with Jason’s [Zander] staff are driving an appropriate Azure SKU… as a part of a collection that can serve the shopper demand we see externally for IAAS and to run our xCloud PC streaming stack,” stated Choudhry within the e-mail chain. A part of the Azure SKU is redacted within the courtroom doc, nevertheless it’s clear Microsoft was engaged on streaming PC video games over the cloud in July 2021.

The complete July 2021 e-mail from Xbox chief Phil Spencer.
Picture: US Courts

However earlier this yr, Microsoft dropped some extra hints about PC video games being accessible on Xbox Cloud Gaming. British cell community EE signed a 10-year deal with Microsoft to convey Xbox PC video games to EE clients, however EE doesn’t at the moment supply a streaming service. It’s doable EE is constructing out a service, nevertheless it’s extra seemingly that Microsoft is nearer with its Azure service to stream PC video games. Microsoft has been brazenly testing mouse and keyboard help for Xbox Cloud Gaming — however just for Xbox console video games up to now.

Elsewhere on this particular inside e-mail chain, Spencer additionally gives up his ideas on Stadia in July 2021. “I actually assume Google is within the strategy of simply making an attempt to show Stadia right into a Google Cloud SKU and cast off their first occasion shopper service,” stated Spencer. “Google is an enormous and aggressive competitor however actually I’ve been shocked by their lack of progress with Stadia. So far our #1 competitor right here is admittedly nVidia with GeForce Now. However we maintain our eye on each Google and Amazon with Luna (additionally struggling).”

Almost a yr after Spencer’s emails, Google introduced it might shut down its Stadia service in January 2023.