As Microsoft moves into the video game streaming business with Project xCloud, the company is also looking into xCloud Exclusive games.
Speaking with Stevivor, Microsoft’s Kareem Choundry stated that the company is “in talks” with both first and third party studios regarding the possibility.
“In terms of exclusives, we’re in early talks with first and third-parties, but we don’t have any announcements to share,” Choudhry told Stevivor. “New content and IP takes eighteen months to two years [to develop].”
However, while xCloud exclusive games may be a possibility in the future, they aren’t in the works yet. Instead, Microsoft is currently focusing on software that doesn’t require any developmental changes.
“The first thing that we’re doing is… just lifting and shifting content that doesn’t require any development changes into the cloud,” Choundry stated. “So right away we’ve got a platform that can run any of the 3000 games you can run on Xbox today.”
However, despite Microsoft originally stating that they are talking with developers regarding xCloud exclusivity they also immediately denied the possibility.
In an update, formally Microsoft requested Stevivor to “clarify its position” on the surprising statement. Despite Choundry’s claim that the company is talking with actual developers to create exclusive xCloud games, Microsoft now says that they aren’t.
“We are investigating a variety of new capabilities made possible by the cloud,” a Microsoft spokesperson told the website. “However, we remain committed to an approach with game streaming that is complementary to console and have no plans for cloud-exclusive content at this time.”
It appears to be a case of Schrodinger’s announcement, but does an exclusive xCloud make sense? With Microsoft developing an open Xbox ecosystem, it would surely split opinion, but depending on the success of xCloud, Microsoft could attempt to bank in.
Project xCloud is currently available in an early test state. While it may be a competitor to Google Stadia, it isn’t quite ready to release to the public. However, for more cloud gaming, check out our review of Google Stadia.