Any smart TV could make use of xCloud streaming.
Microsoft’s Project xCloud streaming service was designed primarily with PCs and sufficiently-powerful mobile devices in mind. If you had the computing muscle for it, you could stream Xbox and PC games to your device. This service is planned to be included as part of an Xbox Games Pass Ultimate membership, but it looks like they’re planning on taking xCloud’s potential and stretching it a little further.
Microsoft announced today that they are developing an “Xbox TV” streaming app in partnership with various television manufacturers. While this service would utilize the same basic xCloud framework we know, it’d be designed for use on a smart TV, accessed in the same way one would access Netflix or Disney+. In addition to this app, Microsoft is also developing a standalone xCloud streaming player like Amazon Fire TV or Roku.
“We’re working with global TV manufacturers to embed the Game Pass experience directly into internet-connected TVs so all you’ll need to play is a controller,” says Liz Hamren, head of gaming experiences and platforms at Microsoft.
“We’re 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,” Hamren added.
Xbox announces that they are working with TV manufacturers to embed the Xbox experience into TVs
— Nibel (@Nibellion) June 10, 2021
No word yet on when these services and devices will be commercially available or how much they’ll cost, but they’ve definitely been in development for a while at least. Last year, Xbox Chief Phil Spencer dropped several hints on the potential of streaming apps and players, and the company has recently reaffirmed its goals of making its games available to as many platforms as realistically possible.
Oh, and don’t get your hopes up for some news on this during E3 next week. Microsoft has already clarified that their presentation will be solely focused on games rather than hardware.