The subscription service for downloading and playing free games got a nod during Microsoft's earnings call with investors last night. CEO Satya Nadella covered all areas of the giant company's businesses in his initial presentation, and here's what he said about gaming specifically:
"People everywhere are turning to gaming to sustain human connection while practicing social distancing. And we continue to deliver new exclusive, first and third-party content to attract and retain gamers.
"We saw all-time record engagement this quarter, with nearly 90 million active users of Xbox Live, led by strength on and off console. Xbox Game Pass has more than 10 million subscribers, and we are seeing increased monetization of in-game content and services. And our Project xCloud gaming service now has hundreds of thousands of users in preview across 7 countries, with 8 more launching in the coming weeks."
No mention of individual games or console sales there, which shows just how much Microsoft looks at its modern gaming business as service oriented. It's also worth noting that Xbox Game Pass encompasses several sub-services, including the flagship subscription for Xbox One games, Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which bundles them both together with an Xbox Live Gold subscription.
Microsoft hasn't said much specifically about how Xbox Game Pass will work with its next-gen console, Xbox Series X, but it's a safe bet that it will be even more deeply integrated than ever before. The Smart Delivery feature for delivering the best version of each game to each system sounds like a match made in heaven (or Redmond, Washington) for Xbox Game Pass.
See what you could be playing on your next-gen game pass with our guide to upcoming Xbox Series X games.