Microsoft is playing a very patient game with the future of Xbox, and it should be the model for Apple Arcade and Google's Stadia
- As the video game industry prepares for the next generation of hardware in 2020, a number of major tech companies are planning to carve out their own stake in the market.
- Google and Apple have both announced new video game subscription services launching later this year, but their approaches are wildly different from what gamers are used to.
- Microsoft's slow, patient strategy to incorporate cloud gaming, subscription services, and more exclusive titles into the Xbox ecosystem should serve as a model for other companies during this time of transition.
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For decades the video game industry has relied on new hardware to promote growth in cycles. The release of new Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo consoles generate an unmatched excitement that has long defined how developers create and sell their games.
Microsoft and Sony have been slowly teasing the details of their next-generation consoles, with Microsoft confirming a holiday 2020 release date for the new Xbox.But this time around, competing companies wont be waiting to see what the traditional gaming giants have in store. Google and Apple are both planning to launch their own video game subscription services this fall with two very different business models.
Apple Arcade will offer more than 100 games for a fixed price, and they'll work across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. Apple reportedly spent more than $500 million to get Apple Arcade ready for a fall launch. Several independent studios are slated to create exclusive games for Apple Arcade, but it's not clear how much the service will cost.
Google's Stadia is an ambitious new gaming platform that relies on a streaming cloud service. By streaming games directly to players from high-powered cloud computers, Stadia will remove the requirement for expensive consoles. Stadia will be exclusive to subscribers to its paid, premium offering when it launches in November, but the platform will eventually be free to use. Either way, gamers will need to buy games specifically for Stadia to play.
While Google and Apple have made major investments in their gaming initiatives, their approaches are a large departure from what gamers are used to. In contrast, Microsoft has slowly established its own subscription service and cloud gaming platform without compromising the core of its Xbox business.Here's why Microsoft is ahead of the competition as the video game industry prepares for a new era of technology:
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