Xbox Games Streaming To TV Through An App Could Arrive Next Year
Xbox boss Phil Spencer believes that it will be possible for Xbox games to be playable on smart TVs through an app within the next twelve months.
Microsoft has entered the streaming gaming sphere with Project xCloud. If you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you can stream many Xbox games to a smart device, like a mobile phone. This requires the use of a compatible controller (save for a few touchscreen games) and a fast Internet connection in order to function. These requirements mean that project xCloud has limitations when used as a handheld gaming device, especially when compared to a dedicated device, like a Nintendo Switch.
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Xbox boss Phil Spencer has discussed the idea of an Xbox streaming stick in the past, and it seems that the concept could arrive sooner than anticipated. Spencer was interviewed by The Verge and he was asked about the possibility of streaming Xbox games through an app. Spencer believes that we could see it becoming a reality by the end of 2021.
What’s stopping you from saying, okay, Xbox is an app, it has minimum hardware specs, and we’re just going to run it on a smart TV?
I think you’re going to see that in the next 12 months. I don’t think anything is going to stop us from doing that. I thought what you said about the TV was spot on. What we used to call a TV was a CRT that’s just throwing an image on the back of a piece of glass that I’m looking at. Now, as you said, a TV is really more of a game console stuffed behind a screen that has an app platform and a Bluetooth stack and a streaming capability. Is it really a TV anymore or is it just the form and function of the devices that we used to have around our TV, consolidated into the one big screen that I’m looking at?
I do think you’re going to see hardware change. Frankly, even on the console, we see this. One of the primary things that people do on game consoles is watch video; they watch Netflix and Disney Plus and Hulu and everything else. What it’s meant is we actually have to build out an app platform inside of a game console so that these providers can go and build their Spotify app and the different things that run. There’s real hours and hours of usage on these things, which — my N64 didn’t do that. The first Xbox didn’t do that.
I think you’re absolutely right, there will be winners and losers and things that evolve and get combined together. What I’m saying is the amount of compute capability in my home has increased with the number of streaming signals that have come in, not decreased. I think gaming will be one of those things as well.
Let’s take a scenario of, my kids want to play the same game on multiple televisions. Is there going to be something that keeps all of the local inputs for low latency and other things in my house, and maybe even I want that from a safety and security standpoint, so only the kids in the house can get on Xbox Live, and it’s not out on the open Xbox Live? Those kids will still want to go play games together on their own screen and other things. I think we’re going to stay eyes open on what scenarios evolve.
I just push back a little bit on — this is not exactly what you said — that when streaming comes, all the consoles go away, or all my local devices that play video games go away. I’m not quite as sold on that. I think we just have to be nimble and watching what players want.
A streaming app for Xbox games makes a lot of sense, but it would run into the same limitations as Google Stadia. Microsoft’s bread and butter are shooters and racing games, which require twitch reflexes to play, especially online. Stadia has shown us that even a slight hiccup in your Internet connection can make your game temporarily unplayable and ruin your day.
Streaming apps have become a major part of the entertainment industry, with Disney+ and Netflix raking in millions of subscribers around the world. Microsoft has the gaming equivalent to these services with Game Pass, but that involves downloading games directly to the system, rather than streaming them (except through xCloud). If the time comes when streaming gaming becomes viable in the same way that streaming movies/TV shows are, then Microsoft is already in the position to bring Game Pass to the masses.
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Source: The Verge
- Game News
Scott has been writing for The Gamer since it launched in 2017 and also regularly contributes to Screen Rant. He has previously written gaming articles for websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, and TopTenz. He has been gaming since the days of the ZX Spectrum, when it used to take 40 minutes to load a game from a tape cassette player to a black and white TV set.
Scott thinks Chrono Trigger is the best video game of all time, followed closely by Final Fantasy Tactics and Baldur’s Gate 2. He pretends that sorcerer is his favorite Dungeons & Dragons class in public but he secretly loves bards.
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