Microsoft is still on track to deliver a public beta of xCloud in October and announced today, the company is starting to bring on partners to help make it a reality on mobile as well. At a joint press conference, SK Telecom and Microsoft announced a new partnership.
Microsoft will use SK Telecom as its exclusive partner in South Korea for Microsoft’s cloud gaming service in that country. This exclusive agreement will also help to deliver mobile gaming over SK Telecom’s expanding 5G network.
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South Korea is the fourth-largest gaming market in the world and mobile gaming is a core part of the market. Microsoft hopes that by striking a partnership with SK Telecom, they can localize their efforts to push their xCloud services into a demographic where they may have struggled without a strategic partner.
It’s an interesting approach, to sign up an exclusive customer to provide xCloud in that country and I do wonder if this will be a sign of things to come. Would Microsoft be bold enough to choose either AT&T or Verizon to be the same partner in the US?
Only time will tell but regardless of the partnership, this is one more step forward for xCloud reaching public availability.