Project xCloud - Microsoft wants you to not own any games

Microsoft wants you to not own any games On-demand game streaming is the hot thing to talk about. Like Google’s recent Project Stream announcement, Microsoft is taking the cover off their own game streaming service. Project xCloud will leverage Microsoft’s Xbox experience and architecture to deliver gaming on the go someday. Unlike Google’s effort, Project xCloud isn’t open for select player tests, but Microsoft has the advantage of currently having millions of customers already willing to pay a subscription fee for Xbox Live Gold and Gamepass. Freedom from consumer ownership is right around the corner!

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Maybe they can launch it with Crackdown 3.

We don’t technically “own” any of the games we have on Steam, either. :/

Digital Game Ownership is different than a rental service, which is what this sounds like. It’s more like Netflix or something.

Well as long as you have all the files you can at least access them even if steam were to fail, provided you have obtained the necessary technical solutions.

rofl :)

I suppose y’all are right. This just seems like an evolution of where we already are. Not that I like it, mind you.

As long as they’re available when I need them, I guess I’m ok with not owning any games. I already don’t own my music or movies or books and those felt like a seismic shift to get my head around. And this way I don’t have my wife giving me side-eye because I walked in with yet another game box. Don’t tell her I said that.

Are people upset about not owning music and getting it on Youtube and Spotify instead? I still buy music from my favorite bands, and I feel like a dinosaur doing it. My friends and coworkers just have Spotify Premium or other services.

An I upset now? No, not really. Was I at one time? Oh hell yeah. Moving to digital and then onto streaming music services was hard. Wandering through a record store and thumbing through the contents is probably the closest thing to a religious experience I’ve ever had. I still miss liner notes.

Yes, but also there’s a bunch of ways that’s not really directly analogous. Most notably, with music I have no need to directly access the files. I have neither the desire nor the ambition to alter audio files and when people other than me do it it gets played as its own thing through the same channels. Same goes for movies. But with a game, there’s a lot of control that is very useful that you are giving up by streaming it.

Agreed. I’m fine with the subscription-library approach rather than outright ownership, but I’d want the flexibility to run the game on my own hardware rather than being forced to stream it and accept input latency.

The true nightmare here is that Microsoft can’t keep their X capitalization consistent. Please just let it be Xbox and Xcloud.

What about DirectX? They can’t even figure out if it goes at the beginning or end of the word!

Psst! She’s standing behind you.

It’s pronounced ten-cloud.

I buy DRM-free whenever possible for games. If I’m trusting them enough to give them my money, they should trust me enough to give me all the files I need to run it with no strings. So I’m mostly GOG these days. Then again, I only play SP, so that works best for me.

I just really balk at the idea of relying on an outside source to run a game I’ve already paid for.
And I do have a Steam account, but I went there kicking and screaming all the way.
Streaming games though? I cannot imagine myself doing that at all, and I’m tired of kicking and screaming. So if that becomes the new accepted way of doing things, I guess I’m gonna be playing a lot of old games.

I still buy music CD’s (and some vinyl), even though I mostly stream my music from Amazon. That way, I have a physical back-up, and it’s uncompressed. Also, it only costs like $2 more for the physical CD on Amazon, and (in most cases) they also give me the mp3’s and the streaming versions for free if I buy the CD, so it’s all good. Frankly, I’m amazed (and thankful) that CD’s and vinyl are still available for all of the music I buy.

Well, I too was resistant to Steam for many years, enough so that I gave away my HL2 release key (back on Avault) as I did not want to use their service. However, it is a bit like the old “CD” games. Only buy the ones for which a drm-free executable/patch exists, never pay full price for a timebomb/spyware product, avoiding the “nastier” DRM implementations, etc…

Thus ensuring you can can “opt out” when they pull the plug, their certificate fails, activation server is down, reactivation have run out, it triggers on some software you have running, its implementation/drivers are incompatible with your OS, etc etc…

But yes: GOG and to a lesser extent kickstarter is a superior alternative, or quality “f2p” games (that you end up spending a lot on anyway… hey Warframe, LOTRO…)

I realized a long time ago how many games I actually play that are beyond a certain age. The answer is zero. This really does not bother me.

It’s not like I “own” the games I have now, either. It’s just a license. The difference here is, I’m paying someone else for server space. Sure, they can theoretically cut access, but again, are they realistically going to? I doubt it. And even if they did, it is likely I will have long moved on from that game anyway.

Microsoft has a history of just abandoning and shutting off these sorts of services, even when actual purchases were involved. So while you may not be concerned in general, I absolutely wouldn’t trust Microsoft on that front.

A streaming service doesn’t have to mean you buy streaming-specific games. This could be an add-on to existing services which lets you play any of your game library via streaming.