Xbox is getting a smart TV app and streaming stick for cloud gaming

It looks like your smart TV is about to get Xbox Game Pass. Ahead of the E3 2021 expo, Microsoft and Xbox have hinted at the future of the Game Pass platform, confirming that it may soon come to living room TVs without the need for an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console.

A press release for the announcement stated that “Xbox is working with global TV makers to embed the Xbox experience directly into Internet-connected TVs, requiring no additional hardware except a controller.”

That means smart TVs like Samsung, LG, Sony, Hisense and TCL can all get a native Xbox Game Pass app that sits alongside YouTube, Netflix, and Disney Plus, letting you try any of 300+ games. can. Developing a Game Pass library within a single Smart TV platform – without a console. You’ll need an Xbox controller or Xbox-compatible gamepad, of course, but the potential disruption here to living room gaming is huge.

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Game Pass is the jewel in Xbox’s crown right now. With hundreds of games to try, first-day launches for first-party games, and cloud gaming starting to be integrated into the Game Pass Ultimate tier, this monthly-fee subscription service is at the heart of the Xbox platform today, and the PlayStation major threat to its market-leading position.

Not only that though. Liz Hameren, CVP of Gaming Experiences and Platforms, tells us that Xbox is also developing “standalone streaming devices that you can plug into a TV or monitor, so if you have a strong Internet connection, you can stream your Xbox experience.” can do.”

If you don’t have a smart TV that supports Xbox Game Pass, or don’t want to upgrade your home television yet, you should be able to buy a streaming stick accessory that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port. And load up the Game Pass app like this.

“We’re doing all this because Game Pass works,” Hameren says. “It works for consumers, and it works for publishers. With Game Pass, players spend 20% more time playing games. They play 30% more genres, and 40% more overall play games, including games outside of their Game Pass subscription. In a recent survey, we found that over 90% of members said they played a game they would not otherwise have played without Game Pass “

Can console and streaming coexist?

Xbox chief, Phil Spencer, is excited about the bright-looking future of Xbox console hardware, while he converts on cloud gaming’s potential to disrupt the gaming landscape and make the Xbox platform even more accessible.

“There is still a place for consoles and PCs and clearly, there always will be,” Spencer says. “But through the cloud, we will be able to deliver a robust gaming experience to anyone connected to the Internet, even the least powerful, least expensive devices, devices that people already have. And with the cloud, gaming players can fully participate in the same Xbox experience as people on local hardware.”

Liz Hammern also hints that Xbox is “already hard to work with on new hardware and platforms, some of which won’t come to light for years.”

It seems like we’re only seeing a small part of the picture so far, but the arrival of Xbox Game Pass on Smart TVs and Streaming Sticks — especially with the integration of cloud gaming that doesn’t require advanced gaming hardware — sure. It is definitely an exciting thing for gamers around the world, and will certainly become a major issue for TV makers in the years to come.

Just as some TV brands were slow to begin offering HDMI 2.1 for next-gen console connections, the makers behind Game Pass could benefit as well.

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