Internal Emails Reveal Microsoft Xbox’s PC Game Streaming Plans

Microsoft already offers cloud-based game streaming but it is limited to Xbox titles.

  • Internal emails have been disclosed as part of Microsoft’s legal battle with FTC over Activision’s acquisition.
  • Microsoft intends to use Azure servers for streaming PC games.
  • Microsoft began working on PC game streaming in response to now-defunct Google Stadia in 2021.

Microsoft is one of the biggest names in the gaming space, thanks to its Xbox division. The team also offers a cloud-based game streaming service called Xbox Cloud Gaming. It is limited to Xbox titles which means if you are interested in PC games, you cannot stream those. This could change in the future as Microsoft’s plans for PC game streaming have been revealed through internal emails.

Microsoft PC Game Streaming Through Azure Servers

Since Microsoft’s legal tussle with FTC over its acquisition of Activision began, it has seen many of its internal emails and documents become public. Some of those emails have now revealed the company’s plans to release a PC game streaming service. These emails are from 2021 and while we are yet to hear anything official, they do give us an idea.

The first email in the conversation about PC game streaming was sent by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. It was sent to Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, Kareem Choudhry, Head of Cloud Gaming at Microsoft, and Sarah Bond, Head of Xbox Creator Experiences. The email cited a news article regarding Google’s potential plans for turning Stadia into a white-label cloud game streaming service for developers and publishers.

Nadella asked his fellow top leaders in the company what this means and whether they are working on something similar for the PC Game Pass. Spencer responded to the email by saying, “Google has the ability to reuse their Linux cloud hardware and yes as we stream PC native games from an Azure GPU SKU we would have more re-use scenarios to recoup costs.”

Choudhry agreed with Spencer in the email chain and added he is working with Bond and Jason Zender’s teams on a suitable Azure SKU. He said it was “as part of a series that will serve the customer demand we see externally for IAAS and to run our xCloud PC streaming stack”.

It is important to note that this email conversation is from July 2021. It has been over two years and Microsoft has not made any official announcement related to the PC game streaming service. Even the Google Stadia streaming service that was the reason for those emails was shut down in 2022.

It is unknown what exactly are Microsoft’s plans for PC game streaming service now. Since it is in an active legal battle with FTC, it could very well be waiting for the case to get over before making a PC game streaming announcement. We would suggest that PC game fans waiting for a streaming service from Microsoft be patient and not get their hopes too high yet.