Xbox’s Phil Spencer: Streaming Won't Take Over Console Gaming Market

Some companies believe that game streaming might just be the future of the market, with EA, Microsoft and Sony figuring out solutions for fans that just want to enjoy their gaming through the cloud. But does that mean it’ll take over the gaming market as we know it right now? Not necessarily.

While speaking with YouTube channel Level Up over the weekend, Xbox head Phil Spencer explained that although streaming is definitely a possibility for gaming, that doesn’t mean it’s going to take over entirely. Not now, and maybe not ever.

He explained that PC and console gaming won’t be replaced for “years and years,” and that streaming is just another choice for audiences to consider. “There are certain scenarios where a streams game is the best answer,” he said. “On a console, the best scenario is for you to download that game and play. If you’re on a PC that’s capable of downloading and playing a game, download and play that game.

“Not all devices are capable of playing the great high fidelity games that we see here in the show [X018], that our first parties are building and the third parties are building, so streaming is an option in those scenarios. And there’s some scenarios of like instant starts and trials, where maybe streaming on a device could be interesting, but I think for years and years, the best way to go play a game on a console is going to be to download that game and play it, and same thing on PC.”

As for streaming, he believes it’s “further out,” he continued. “in terms of it becoming really mass market and everybody doing it. And way further out before it’s the best way to play a game, if it ever is. I think it’s about giving you a choice as a player, rather than replacing what you do. We love people who play on PC today, we love people who play on consoles, who play native games on consoles, and we’re investing to make that even better.”


That doesn’t mean Microsoft won’t move forward with its Cloud initiative, which does sound really promising. But it’s nice to see that someone out there believes that the console gaming market is likely to keep some things intact, even as other ideas make their way to the surface. Give us physical games to put into our system any day.

You can watch the interview in the video above!