In its recent earnings conference call, Microsoft said that its interests in gaming are growing. The figures are based on its own Q1 results with CEO Satya Nadella and his board.
The gaming division's returns grew by one per cent in Q1. This is following a decline in the amount of hardware sales that was offset by the sales of software. The company boasts that it has 53 million monthly active users that play games using its platforms (it includes mobile applications, Xbox One and Windows 10 devices.
It also said that its newer ventures in gaming, namely streaming service Mixer and the Xbox Game Pass were showing encouraging early results. That could well be backed up by comments made by Xbox's Shannon Loftis earlier this week who said that the Game Pass could fund potential future development. There's no news on how many people are using the service but if it is making enough income to use the money for development costs then it can't be insignificant.
Going forward into Q2, the company expect software sales to continue to rise and the addition of the Xbox One X to the Xbox One family to create a higher mix of available hardware, leading to more returns.
"We are mobilizing to pursue our expansive opportunity in the $100 billion-plus gaming industry, broadening our approach to how we think about gaming end-to-end – from the way games are created and distributed to how they are played and viewed," said CEO Nadella during the call. We will continue to connect our gaming assets across PC, console and mobile, and work to grow and engage the more than 53 million Xbox Live member network more deeply and frequently with new services like Game Pass and Mixer. And we’re a few days away from launching the Xbox One X, the most technically advanced and powerful console ever built.
"Moreover, we have high expectations for our gaming business to bring more people to more Microsoft experiences and broaden our engagement and usage scenarios. This means fundamentally rethinking how we measure progress in gaming. While we continue to innovate across console, PC and Xbox Live services, we see substantial additional opportunities across eSports and streaming. At 20 percent this quarter, our software and services revenue growth reflects the early stage potential of this larger opportunity.
"We also see opportunity to empower developers who work on console, PC and mobile games to use our cloud infrastructure and services to enhance their game-play and community. Gaming pushes the boundaries of hardware and software innovation with some of the most CPU and GPU-intensive applications and content, giving us a huge opportunity in the cloud. As one example, Pub-G Corp with the hit game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, is not only partnering to make Xbox the exclusive console at launch but is also running on Azure [Microsoft's cloud computing service]."