Phil Spencer: Project xCloud will come to Xbox Game Pass, users playing 'twice' as much

Xcloud (Image credit: Windows Central)

Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled various figures in a huge earnings call, citing massive growth across the board. Xbox grew too, enjoying record-breaking engagement while sharing Xbox Game Pass (XGP) user figures for the first time.

Xbox Game Pass sits at over ten million active subscribers as of writing, putting the value of the service into the tens of millions of dollars.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Today, Microsoft's gaming lead Phil Spencer shared some additional facts and figures around Xbox Game Pass user behavior, to showcase how the service isn't just driving cash flow, but also engagement for developers involved with the service.

We're excited by the response to Xbox Game Pass and yesterday we announced that Game Pass now has over 10 million members from 41 countries worldwide. Xbox Game Pass inspires a new era of gaming – where the community with the same Game Pass plan can play a large common catalog of the best games, discovering new titles and experiences together. With Game Pass, we want to answer the question: what to play next with my friends?We're still early on this journey, and in the last two months, we've seen how important gaming can be to our community.

Spencer went on to emphasize various player stats in the blog post, noting that Xbox Live's friendship rate has increased by 70 percent on the back of Xbox Game Pass, as users begin adding friends to their contact lists on Xbox Live. This could hint at an upswing in completely new customers, off the back of Xbox Game Pass for PC, which includes social features within its app. (opens in new tab)

Source: Microsoft

Spencer also indicated that Xbox Game Pass users are playing twice as much as non-XGP users, citing them as a reason for the 130 percent increase in multiplayer gaming on Xbox during the past quarter.

After joining Game Pass people play 40% more games and more than 90% of members have played a game they wouldn't have tried without Game Pass – often discovering new genres they have not yet experienced. This speaks to our passion at Xbox for sharing and celebrating the games that we love and for showcasing works, from blockbusters to indie developers with unique points of view.

Additionally, Microsoft confirmed that Project xCloud Xbox game streaming is coming to Xbox Game Pass, allowing Xbox Game Pass users to stream the library to any device. We have asked Microsoft to clarify whether Project xCloud will be included gratis as part of the regular subscription, or will be an added "tier," like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Update April 30, 2020: Further to Microsoft's reiteration of Project xCloud joining Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft noted that they'll have "more to share" on pricing options in the future.

"We confirmed that when Project xCloud goes beyond preview, we'll offer a streaming option for Xbox Game Pass members. We'll have more to share at a later date."

The sustained growth of Xbox Game Pass suggests to me that Microsoft chose the right path for growing its gaming operation, particularly when you factor in Project xCloud, which Microsoft says will launch proper later in 2020. Initiatives like Xbox Game Pass Perks, which give you bonuses in other games, could also help drive the service in the future, if Microsoft can land some big deals with more free-to-play games like they have with Smite and World of Tanks.

In any case, Xbox Game Pass is on the up and up, and it'll be interesting to see what other features it can incorporate in the future.

Xbox Game Pass


Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • It is awesome to see xCloud included in Game Pass. Does this mean that games, that are not included in Game Pass, will only be playable through console streaming instead of cloud streaming? I really hope that xCloud will become the then current base Xbox in the cloud including full access to the Microsoft Store.
  • We always assumed xCloud would become a paid product at some point. I think this sounds more like Game Pass subs will get access to xCloud (like the current GP Ultimate has console/PC/Live bundled) rather than xCloud and Game Pass games will necessarily be linked.
  • The bit I like about this is the effect that this has on Devs. I've no idea how the conversations go between MS and devs, but numbers like this must make MS stronger in the conversation. I hope Red Dead stays in a while. I like games to be in for a good while. Now they have gone to Japan, might get even more variety in there.
  • I wonder how long before more strategic Gamepass partners like Spotify or Netflix. Even the Samsung hardware partnership is potentially huge. They could really parlay Gamepass into something huge, then come behind it with xcloud for the kill
  • I am excited about the xCloud announcement. I tested xCloud on my iPhone when it first came out. It had limited games and was laggy. I'm hopeful the PC version is better. My laptop is too weak to run a lot of Game Pass games. I look forward to playing a game at home on my Xbox Series X, having to go on the road for work, bringing along my weak laptop and controller, and then firing up that same game on xCloud and playing away. Currently, I have to pack up my XB1 when I go on the road.
  • Well that's Xcloud stomping all over Stadia.
  • Judging by the wording this sounds like xCloud in Game Pass won't be full xCloud, it's a version of.