Microsoft's report on first-quarter earnings for the 2019 fiscal year saw the company's gaming revenue grow by as much as 44 per cent, prompting their CEO Satya Nadella to announce plans of the Xbox Game Pass expanding to PCs as well.
As far as earnings go, Microsoft has every reason to be happy, scoring growth in pretty much every department they've laid their mitts on. Revenue grew by 19 per cent, operating income by 29, net income by 34 while diluted earnings per share rose by 36 per cent.
As for the gaming part of Microsoft's business, Xbox software and services grew by 36 per cent, which is quite the result all things considered. The quarter Microsoft refer to is the period from 01 July to 30 September 2018, when Sony were supposedly slaughtering them with exclusives, so it's interesting to see that the numbers don't really reflect that.
Even though details are pretty scarce at the moment, Nadella said that the encouraging results are reason enough to start planning for expansion of the Xbox Game Pass service to PC. It's safe to assume we'll see Windows 10's Microsoft Store integrated with Xbox Game Pass functionality at some point, but we guess we'll see soon enough.
At the same time, recent market research showed that family gaming, which is basically more people under the same roof playing games and/or using family-oriented subscription services, may actually be key in PlayStation vs. Xbox wars, which ties in with Microsoft's Game Pass ambitions. It turns out that the market segment is much more lucrative than you'd think, with family gamers being more likely to spend and become core gamers.
It's the same market segment that Nintendo ruled once, back in the days of Wii, the little guy that could. Of course, Nintendo managed to fumble that ball but there's still time for someone to pick it up and by the looks of it - Microsoft are heading there.
So, Microsoft may soon have another way to fight Sony's exclusives, not least with their Play Anywhere initiative. Your turn Sony.