You won’t need an Xbox system to enjoy the future of the Xbox platform. Microsoft gaming boss Phil Spencer announced today that the company is building a cloud-gaming infrastructure that will enable players to get its games from in a Netflix-like stream to PCs, set-top boxes, tablets, and smartphones. Microsoft made the announcement during today during a press briefing ahead of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles today.
Microsoft launched the Xbox One in November 2013 under a cloud of policy reversals and confused messaging. The company planned to release the system as an always-connected device that would have special features for sharing digital games. It scraped those plans in the face of angry fans, and it has spent the rest of this generation recovering from those early missteps.
Now, the Xbox One is in much better shape, but its interface still feels held back by its original online-only origins. And even the faster, more expensive Xbox One X at $500 ($450 for a limited time) doesn’t make the system feel as snappy as you would expect. But Microsoft continues to work to improve it, and we are seeing the results of that at E3.