Microsoft is building an Xbox mobile gaming store to take on Apple and Google (2022)

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Microsoft is building an Xbox mobile store to directly offer games on mobile devices, challenging Apple and Google. The software giant first hinted at a “next-generation” store it would “build for games” earlier this year but has now quietly revealed details of the plans in filings with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA is currently investigating the $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition and has asked Microsoft for context. In its filings, Microsoft says a big motivation for the purchase is to help build out its mobile gaming presence. Its plans for this space apparently include creating an Xbox mobile gaming platform and store. Here’s what the company says in the filings:

The transaction will improve Microsoft’s ability to create a next generation game store which operates across a range of devices, including mobile as a result of the addition of Activision Blizzard’s content. Building on Activision Blizzard’s existing communities of gamers, Xbox will seek to scale the Xbox Store to mobile, attracting gamers to a new Xbox Mobile Platform. Shifting consumers away from the Google Play Store and App Store on mobile devices will, however, require a major shift in consumer behavior. Microsoft hopes that by offering well-known and popular content, gamers will be more inclined to try something new.

Call of Duty: Mobile and Candy Crush Saga are two hugely popular mobile games published by Activision and King, respectively, and Microsoft could leverage these titles to help build out a game store to rival Google Play and the App Store. Given Apple’s policies blocking third-party app stores on iOS, it’s difficult to imagine Microsoft competing on iPhones anytime soon. But that’s clearly not stopping it from envisioning an Xbox mobile app store.

Microsoft’s acknowledgment of a mobile gaming push comes as the company increasingly positions Xbox Cloud Gaming as an option for mobile gaming on emerging handhelds. Microsoft was quick to support Xbox Cloud Gaming on Valve’s Steam Deck, followed by a partnership with Logitech and Razer for their cloud gaming-focused handhelds. That means a push into mobile gaming could happen on multiple fronts — not just on phones and tablets.

Beyond hardware, there’s a lot of revenue at stake here, too. Games are some of the most popular downloads on mobile and drive in-app purchases on app stores. Microsoft clearly wants a piece of that pie. Look at how the company describes the opportunity:

(Video) Microsoft Plans Xbox Mobile Storefront To Rival Apple and Google - IGN Daily Fix

The transaction gives Microsoft a meaningful presence in mobile gaming. Mobile gaming revenues from the King division and titles such as Call of Duty: Mobile, as well as ancillary revenue, represented more than half of Activision Blizzard’s ... revenues in the first half of 2022. Mobile customers account for around three-quarters of its MAU. Microsoft currently has no meaningful presence in mobile gaming and the Transaction will bring much needed expertise in mobile game development, marketing and advertising. ActivisionBlizzard will be able to contribute its learnings from developing and publishing mobile games to Xbox gaming studios.

However, the CMA has barely discussed the potential for Microsoft’s entrance into mobile gaming as part of its investigation and is instead largely focusing on console gaming, which Microsoft argues is an increasingly smaller part of the overall market. In a graph posted at Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition site, the company depicts the entire gaming market as worth $165 billion in 2020, with consoles making up $33 billion (20 percent), PCs at $40 billion (24 percent), and mobile gaming at $85 billion (51 percent).

Microsoft is building an Xbox mobile gaming store to take on Apple and Google (1)

Image: Microsoft

(Video) Microsoft is planning the Xbox Mobile store to compete with Apple and Google

Building a successful rival to the Google Play Store or App Store would be a huge challenge, though, and Microsoft will need to woo third-party developers if it hopes to make inroads.

The company seems to be laying the groundwork here by committing to a set of principles that would allow developers to freely run their own app stores on its Xbox mobile platform and offer their own payment systems to process in-app purchases. That’s a benefit Apple certainly doesn’t offer. (These commitments don’t fully extend to Xbox consoles yet, but Microsoft said earlier this year it’s “committed to closing the gap on the remaining principles over time.”)

Microsoft says these same principles will also apply to the future Xbox mobile store, which could be enough to lure developers onto the platform. One company that might be particularly interested is Epic Games, which has allied itself with Microsoft in the past few years in the fight against Apple’s App Store policies.

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  • Microsoft’s new open model for Windows and HoloLens 2 impresses Epic’s Tim Sweeney
  • A comprehensive breakdown of the Epic v. Apple ruling

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney welcomed Microsoft’s first hints at an open app store model in 2019 ahead of a giant battle between Epic and Apple a year later that saw Fortnite disappear from iPhones. Epic has been arguing that Apple should allow third-party payment systems in its App Store or even allow rival app stores to function on iPhones and iPads.

(Video) Microsoft Opening An XBOX Mobile Gaming Store - Compete With Apple and Google #shorts

Epic eventually called on Microsoft to help argue its case in court, and Microsoft cranked up the pressure on Apple with some significant Windows store changes days ahead of the Epic v. Apple trial last year.

Epic didn’t win its legal argument, and Fortnite still isn’t back on the iPhone. But Epic did turn to Microsoft to bring Fortnite to Xbox Cloud Gaming earlier this year after court documents revealed Epic originally blocked the game from Xbox Cloud Gaming as the service was “competitive with our PC offerings.”

This closer partnership between the companies could help persuade Epic to come on board early with Microsoft’s mobile gaming plans. Epic has already embraced Samsung’s Galaxy Store on Android, and having Fortnite and Call of Duty: Mobile on Microsoft’s Xbox mobile game store would be a good start in a difficult task to take on Apple and Google.

Microsoft is building an Xbox mobile gaming store to take on Apple and Google (2)

Image: Xbox

(Video) Xbox Mobile Store in the Works at Microsoft to Take on Google, Apple

However, a big potential stumbling block for Microsoft’s mobile gaming ambitions could be its control of Call of Duty on both mobile and console. Microsoft has seen success with Xbox Game Pass, and it has made it clear it wants to bring Activision games to the service. Regulators are now weighing how this would impact competition.

Xbox Game Pass is also at the heart of the ongoing battles between Microsoft and Sony over Call of Duty. Sony is arguing that Microsoft could take Call of Duty away from PlayStation entirely, while Microsoft says that wouldn’t make business sense. This disagreement has spilled out into a public war of words between Sony’s PlayStation chief and Microsoft’s head of Xbox, but the real conflict is happening behind closed doors.

Related

  • Microsoft pleads for its Activision Blizzard deal as UK regulator signals in-depth review
  • Microsoft will keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for “several more years” beyond existing deal
  • Sony says Microsoft’s Call of Duty offer was “inadequate on manylevels”
  • Microsoft takes the gloves off as it battles Sony for its Activision acquisition

Microsoft now says keepingCall of Dutyon PlayStation is a “commercial imperative for the Xbox business and the economics of the transaction” and that it would put revenue at risk if it pulledCall of Dutyfrom Sony’s consoles. “Microsoft has been clear that it is counting on revenues from the distribution of Activision Blizzard games on Sony PlayStation.”

But even if Call of Duty stays on PlayStation, Sony could still lose out on serious revenue if Microsoft offers the title on Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft previously claimed that Sony is paying for “blocking rights” to keep some games off Xbox Game Pass and now says that’s the case with Call of Duty. “The agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony includes restrictions on the ability of Activision Blizzard to place Call of Duty titles on Game Pass for a number of years,” says Microsoft in its filings.

(Video) Xbox wants to build a mobile game store to compete with Google and Apple

The CMA and other regulators now have the unenviable task of untangling these arguments between Sony and Microsoft and figuring out exactly how this deal could harm consumers or competition. Microsoft still hopes to close this deal out by spring 2023, but there’s a good chance we have months of battles ahead — as well as the opportunity to gain rare insights, as with these mobile plans, into the secret ambitions of the gaming industry.

FAQs

Is Microsoft Store the same as Xbox store? ›

The Microsoft Store account provides access to owned games, subscription benefits, and other Xbox app purchases made by that account. The Xbox account is used for game streaming access, in-game purchases, achievements, and friends. In most cases, it's best if the Microsoft Store and Xbox accounts are the same.

Is Xbox owned by Google? ›

Xbox is a video gaming brand created and owned by Microsoft.

What gaming system does Microsoft make? ›

Introducing Xbox Series X, our fastest, most powerful console ever, designed for a console generation that has you, the player, at its center. Includes Xbox Series X console, required select additional controller, and an option to add Xbox Game Pass Ultimate 3 Month Membership, and Microsoft Complete for Xbox.

Will iPhone be able to play Xbox games? ›

One of the features of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate bundle is Xbox Cloud Gaming, which enables you to play your console games on PCs, Android devices, and iOS devices using Microsoft Cloud. With this feature, games can be streamed directly from a remote server to your device without you needing to download them locally.

Is there a Microsoft Store app? ›

Microsoft Store appDiscover the experiences you'll love most on your Windows device.

What is Microsoft app store called? ›

The Microsoft Store – formerly called the Windows Store -- is an online marketplace for consumers to buy and download a variety of items. The store enables users to purchase hardware such as PCs, Surface products and Xbox consoles, or download software and digital content, including apps, games, movies or TV shows.

Is PlayStation or Xbox better? ›

It may seem odd to come to a conclusion on the best last-generation console, but as these machines are still getting games made for them, they are far from irrelevant. Ultimately, the PS4 is the overall winner, all down to its larger selection of exclusive games.

What is the newest Xbox called? ›

Xbox Series X is compatible with thousands of games across four generations of Xbox. And, with Smart Delivery games, you buy a game once and get the best version of that game for the console you're playing on.

Who has Microsoft bought? ›

Microsoft has made fourteen acquisitions worth over one billion dollars: Skype (2011), aQuantive (2007), Fast Search & Transfer (2008), Navision (2002), Visio Corporation (2000), Yammer (2012), Nokia's mobile and devices division (2013), Mojang (2014), LinkedIn (2016), GitHub (2018), Affirmed Networks (2020), ZeniMax ...

What is the new Xbox called 2022? ›

XBOX SERIES X

The fastest, most powerful Xbox ever.

Will Xbox stop making Xbox One games? ›

Many new games will still offer versions on Xbox One, and online infrastructure is expected to last for years. After all, the Xbox 360 still delivered online play until late 2021, 16 years after the system's release. If Xbox One takes the same approach, we could expect live service to persist until 2029.

Can I play Xbox on my iPad? ›

Play games installed on your Xbox console, including Xbox Game Pass titles, on any compatible PC, Android, or iOS device. Currently Android and iOS excludes backward compatible titles from Xbox 360 or Original Xbox.

Where is the 6 digit code on Xbox app? ›

Create your PIN. Press the Xbox button  to open the guide. Go to Profile & system > Settings > Account > Sign-in, security & PIN > Create my PIN. Enter a 6-digit PIN, and then re-enter the PIN to confirm.

How do I play Fortnite on my iPad? ›

To play Fortnite on your iPhone or iPad, all you need is to be connected to Wi-Fi and have a Microsoft account (don't worry if you don't have one - creating an account is free). Fortnite has touch controls, so playing with a controller is optional.

What apps do Microsoft own? ›

Apps and services
  • Microsoft Teams.
  • Word.
  • Excel.
  • PowerPoint.
  • Outlook.
  • OneNote.
  • OneDrive.

How do I install Microsoft app store without store? ›

1 Answer
  1. just double-click the . appx file (this might use the store to install though)
  2. via powershell: Add-AppxPackage c:\path\to\app. appx .
19 May 2022

How much does it cost to put an app on Windows Store? ›

The default selection is Free, so if you want to charge money for the add-on, be sure to choose one of the available price tiers (starting at . 99 USD).

Does Apple have Microsoft apps? ›

The new Office app combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into a single application, and originally launched for iOS and Android back in 2019.

Is there a Microsoft Store app for iPhone? ›

Microsoft Start on the App Store. This app is available only on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.

Do Microsoft apps work on iPhone? ›

With the power of the Office app for iOS, you can stay productive on the go. Create and edit new Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, or PowerPoint presentations.

Who is winning the console wars? ›

It makes sense that the PS4 and Xbox One still take the top spot despite the release of next-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox One.

Which console has best graphics? ›

Best Graphics: Microsoft Xbox Series X

The Xbox Series X is the most powerful home console ever created, powering up to 12 teraflops of graphical performance for hyper-detailed native 4K games at up to 120 frames per second on supported screens.

Which console is more powerful? ›

The Xbox Series X is "four times more powerful than Xbox One X". It sports a custom Zen 2 eight-core processor running at 3.8GHz per core. The PlayStation 5 runs on an eight-core Zen 2 processor too, but at 3.5GHz per core.

How much RAM does the PS5 have? ›

How Much RAM Does The PS5 Have? The PS5 has 16 GB of RAM. The PS5's RAM is unified, which means it is used as system RAM and VRAM at the same time. This improves performance because data doesn't need to be copied between multiple pools of memory.

What is the Xbox Scorpio? ›

They're the same thing basically. The Scorpio is just a limited edition version of the One X that was available for pre-order and at launch. The console itself and the controller that it comes with says "Project Scorpio" on them.

Is Xbox Series S 4K? ›

Not exactly: 4K resolution isn't native for this console; it's capped at 1440p, though it can run up to 120 fps if you drop the resolution. As for home entertainment, the Xbox Series S supports HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. We live in a digital world now, so it has no physical disk drive.

Is Disney trying to buy Microsoft? ›

On September 1, Microsoft and Disney confirmed a $300 billion deal to merge the two companies, pending approval from the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

Who is Microsoft looking to buy? ›

Now there are reports Microsoft is looking to buy Mandiant, the cybersecurity software firm formerly known as FireEye that is currently valued at about $4.5 billion. Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia said on the company's earnings conference call with analysts last week that it won't comment on rumors or speculation.

Are Microsoft buying Ubisoft? ›

Microsoft could be acquiring Ubisoft in the coming months, that's at least according to a recent report. If true, this could be huge! Ubisoft is one of the biggest video game companies on the planet. It is the home of franchises such as Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, as well as Rainbow Six, and more.

Is there a new Xbox coming out in 2023? ›

Microsoft has officially begun testing a new UI design for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles, with a full launch of the redesign coming in 2023 for all users.

Is a PS5 Pro coming? ›

Folks over at Digital Foundry did an excellent analysis of the current global situation and concluded that the PS5 Pro is still far from release. That being said, the PS5 Pro is expected to come with a GPU that is on par with the RX7700XT. This AMD GPU is yet to be released and is expected to launch later in 2022.

How much is a PS5? ›

PlayStation 5 vs. PlayStation 5 Digital EditionReturn to table of contents↴ There are currently two iterations of the PS5: the PS5 ($499.99) and the PS5 Digital Edition ($399.99). There is very little difference between the two — the Digital Edition just lacks the ability to play disc-based games.

Will Xbox stop making consoles? ›

Instead the focus will continue to be on next-gen. It's not the best time to be in the market for a next-gen console, what with demand continuing to outweigh the production capabilities of both Sony and Microsoft.

Is Xbox 360 still supported? ›

Note Xbox 360 support content is no longer being maintained. If you need more info about your Xbox 360 console, visit the Xbox forums.

Is PS4 discontinued? ›

Following the launch of the PlayStation 5 in November 2020, Sony discontinued production in Japan of all but the 500GB Slim model of the PlayStation 4 on January 5, 2021, with the standard PS4 and PS4 Pro still being produced for western markets.

What is the most powerful console in the world 2022? ›

The Xbox Series X barely squeaks by the PS5 to take the title of most powerful gaming console. In practice, most people won't be able to tell the difference between the two, but if you want the best, you'll want to grab the Series X.

What is the most popular console 2022? ›

Despite component shortages, the PS5 is still the best-selling console in the US for 2022. The console was also the best-selling console in the US for July through dollar sales and took the number two slot behind the Nintendo Switch in terms of units sold.

Which console is most popular? ›

Best-selling game consoles
PlatformTypeUnits sold
PlayStationHome102.49 million
WiiHome101.63 million
PlayStation 3Home87.4 million
Xbox 360Home84 million
46 more rows

What Xbox games can you play on mobile? ›

That being said, here's what you need to know about the games on Xbox Game Pass for Android.
...
Full cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate list
  • 7 Days to Die.
  • A Memoir Blue.
  • AI: The Somnium Files.
  • Aliens: Fireteam Elite.
  • Among Us.
  • ANVIL: Vault Breaker (Game Preview)
  • Archvale.
  • Ark: Ultimate Survivor Edition.
15 Sept 2022

Can I play Playstation on my iPad? ›

PS Remote Play is available on Android smartphones and tablets, iPhone or iPad, Windows PC and Mac, as well as your PS5 and PS4 consoles. Remote Play can be used with a mobile data connection or Wi-Fi.

How do I play fortnite on my iPhone? ›

  1. Click on the Safari app. Open your iPhone and open your Safari or Google app to start. ...
  2. Click on the search bar. Click on the search bar in your preferred app.
  3. Type in xbox.com/play and press Enter. ...
  4. Click on Fortnite. ...
  5. Press Get Ready to Play. ...
  6. Click the Share button. ...
  7. Press Add to Home Screen. ...
  8. Press Add.
1 Aug 2022

What does code 80151103 mean? ›

The logon error code is 0x80151103. This might mean one of the following: There's a temporary problem with the Xbox Live service. There's a problem with the security information for your Microsoft account. There's a problem with the Xbox Live profile that's stored on your Xbox 360 console.

What is error code 4 on Xbox? ›

If all else fails and you're basically left with nothing more to try, then the only solution for the error code 4 Warzone Xbox appears to be a complete reinstallation. Delete the game from your console and get it back from your library of redeemed titles.

What is Xbox code 8015000a? ›

The license is missing, expired, corrupted, or does not belong to the current gamertag. Sorry, Xbox Live profile can't be downloaded right now. Try again later.

Will Fortnite come back to Apple? ›

Epic Games' Fortnite has made its return to iOS and Android, as of May 5 2022, although through the resolution of Epic and Apple's extensive legal disputes but a partnership with Microsoft, which sees the battle royale playable on browser through Xbox Game Pass.

Is Fortnite mobile banned in India? ›

Garena Free Fire banned in India, but you can play Fortnite on your iPhone; Check how to do so.

How many people still play Fortnite? ›

2,904,776 Players Online

The more popular a game is, the more frequent the number of players online can change as new players start and others end their gaming session. Special announcements by Epic Games, the game developer, or tournaments by famous players can affect how many people play Fortnite.

Is Microsoft and Xbox account the same? ›

A Microsoft account is not the same thing as an Xbox account, although you can use the same email address for both.

Is Microsoft Store account same as Microsoft account? ›

When you sign in to your Microsoft account, you have an all-access pass to Microsoft's premier services. If you use any of these services, you should already have a Microsoft account: Outlook.com, Office, Skype, OneDrive, Xbox Live, Bing, Microsoft Store, Windows, or MSN.

How do I link my Xbox account to my Microsoft account? ›

To do so:
  1. Press the Xbox button  to open the guide.
  2. Select Profile & System > Add or switch > Add new.
  3. Enter the email address for the Microsoft account that you want to add, and then select Enter. ...
  4. Enter the password for your Microsoft account, and then select Enter.

Where is my Microsoft Store? ›

Select Start then enter Microsoft Store. Select it to open the app.

What is a Microsoft password? ›

Your user account on a Windows computer should be password-protected. That's your Windows password, also known as your user account password. When you create a user account on a Windows computer, you can make it a local account or a Microsoft account.

Is Gmail owned by Microsoft? ›

Gmail is a free email service provided by Google. As of 2019, it had 1.5 billion active users worldwide. A user typically accesses Gmail in a web browser or the official mobile app.

Is Gmail Microsoft account? ›

A Microsoft account is an email address and password that you use with Outlook.com, Hotmail, Office, OneDrive, Skype, Xbox, and Windows. When you create a Microsoft account, you can use any email address as the user name, including addresses from Outlook.com, Yahoo! or Gmail.

Can I use my Xbox account on PC? ›

Yes. When you play an Xbox Play Anywhere game, your game progress is saved on Xbox Live. So, you can pick up where you left off on another Xbox or Windows 10 PC, bringing all your saves, game add-ons, and achievements with you.

How much is a Microsoft account? ›

There are no fees for having a Microsoft account, putting money into it, or using it to buy stuff from us. In other words, it's free!

How do I link my Microsoft account to my Google account? ›

Try it!
  1. In Outlook, select File, then Add Account.
  2. Enter your Email Address for your Gmail account and select Connect.
  3. A window will appear. ...
  4. Select Next and add your Gmail password.
  5. Read over the statement that appears and select Allow > Done.
  6. Restart Outlook.
  7. Look for your Gmail email in the folder pane.

Where is the 6 digit code on Xbox app? ›

Create your PIN. Press the Xbox button  to open the guide. Go to Profile & system > Settings > Account > Sign-in, security & PIN > Create my PIN. Enter a 6-digit PIN, and then re-enter the PIN to confirm.

How many Microsoft accounts can you have? ›

You can install Microsoft 365 on all your devices and be signed in to five devices at a time.

How do you see what accounts are linked to your Microsoft account? ›

From a Windows 10 device where you're already signed in, select Start > Settings > Accounts . Under Email & app accounts, you'll see the usernames associated with your device.

How do I install APK files on Windows 11? ›

Installing APKs on Windows 11 with WSA PacMan

Locate the APK file on your device, or grab one from a site like APK Mirror, and double-click on it like any other .exe file on Windows. WSA PacMan takes care of the rest, prompting a message similar to what you would see on Android.

Why can't I install apps from Microsoft Store? ›

Your PC isn't authorized to use Microsoft Store apps.

You'll need to sign into the app with your Microsoft account. To check if your PC is authorized, see Add a device to your Microsoft account.

How do I find my Microsoft key? ›

The product key is in the confirmation email you received after buying your digital copy of Windows. Microsoft only keeps a record of product keys if you purchased from the Microsoft online store. You can find out if you purchased from Microsoft in your Microsoft account Order history.

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