A staggering 10 million users have played games on Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced on Tuesday during the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call. Cloud gaming is only available in the $14.99 per month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tier and the number announced Tuesday shows that lots of people are trying the feature out. It’s also a concrete statistic in a space where there aren’t many numbers -statistics. Google doesn’t release figures for Stadia or GeForce Now, and any figures provided on the part of Nvidia in connection with GeForce Now include people who have tried a trial for free.
Game Pass has proven to be popular, and Microsoft announced in January that Game Pass increased to 25 million users that were an increase from the 18 million the year prior. It’s still unclear how Microsoft determines what qualifies as a game streaming from Xbox Cloud Gaming, so we don’t have a clear idea of what the figure might mean and how many of the current customers are included in the streamed game count, or exactly how many hours of playtime are required for Microsoft to consider it as streaming. It’s important to note that you could enroll for a month’s worth of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for less than a dollar, then decide to cancel. It’s not known how many who signed up and played a game on stream could be included in the Microsoft figures released on Tuesday.
Microsoft has invested heavily in Xbox Cloud Gaming, launching initially for Android, then iOS and PC as well as Xbox consoles which means you are now able to play a huge selection of Xbox games across a vast array of devices. (I’ve used it for playing Psychonauts 2 on my Steam Deck, and it worked perfectly.) In September, Steam Deck has been completely powered by customized Xbox Series X hardware that has improved frame rates and loading speeds, making the service easier to utilize.
However, the company has witnessed strong sales of its hardware as well, with Xbox recently having its highest March sales performance in the last 11 years and Xboxes of the next generation being made more widely available. Microsoft announced on Tuesday that Xbox sales of hardware have increased by 14. The company also said that Microsoft CFO Amy Hood cautioned that Chinese manufacturing shutdowns could have an impact on the future sales of hardware, such as “constrained console supply.”