According to recent data from Microsoft, more people are taking advantage of cloud gaming services, revealing its cloud-based platform has seen a staggering 1,800% usage increase in the last year.
The statistic was revealed in a community update video hosted by Kevin LaChapelle and Catherine Gluckstein from the Xbox Cloud Gaming team. Granted, the cloud platform hasn’t been around for long – it only launched in Australia last October – and is still rolling out worldwide, but it shows a decent adoption rate.
It’s reasonable to suggest several factors are behind the growth. For starters, anyone can play Fortnite for free using Xbox Cloud Gaming, which remains the only way for iOS users to play the popular multiplayer game following Epic Games’ ongoing standoff with Apple. Another aspect is the increased availability of Xbox Cloud Gaming across devices. In addition to Xbox consoles and PC, you can stream games to mobile and TVs – Samsung rolled out a native Xbox app in June.
Other discussion points in the video included increasing server capacity, more touch-control customisation for mobile devices, and that Xbox Cloud Gaming recently launched for our New Zealand neighbours. There’s also a feedback portal to make requests to the Xbox team, where people have already asked about purchasing games specifically for cloud use, and more options to tweak visual quality. Nothing was mentioned in the video about the in-development “Keystone” streaming dongle, which recently received an official update from Microsoft.
As mentioned earlier, any increase in cloud gaming will appear significant due to the technology’s infancy. However, this does little to diminish the impact it will have on gaming in general. Like the shift from physical to digital software, hardware is becoming less of a barrier to entry as companies like Microsoft encourage you to play however and wherever you want.