Xbox announces that its Cloud Gaming service will expand its accessibility with the release of a new Smart TV application and a streaming stick.
Microsoft’s Xbox has just unveiled plans to release its own streaming stick as well as a smart TV app for cloud gaming.
Confirming what many have been anticipating for years, Ars Technica Microsoft reports that Microsoft intends to radically expand the accessibility of the Xbox experience through new hardware and software, including its Project xCloud game streaming service (now called Xbox Cloud Gaming).
Officially launched last year and available to Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, Xbox Cloud Gaming represents a big step forward in video game streaming. With the upcoming Smart TV app, gamers will be able to access over 200 cloud-hosted games with just an internet connection and any Xbox compatible gamepad. For TVs that don’t support the new app, Microsoft will provide the streaming stick as a workaround until more streamlined solutions are developed.
However, not limited to TV screens, Xbox Cloud Gaming will be accessible through various web browsers. Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari will be supported “in the coming weeks,” according to Microsoft executive vice president of games Phil Spencer. “Right now, we’re the only platform offering console, PC and cloud games simultaneously,” boasted Spencer, who heads the Xbox brand. Xbox Cloud Gaming’s reach will also extend to mobile browsers, allowing gamers to play Xbox on their smartphones and tablets.
“We just put more top quality games in front of more people than other companies,” Spencer continued. “As the Xbox ecosystem grows in both content and total size, it becomes more accessible to gamers and our partners.” The Game Pass subscription model has worked very well for Microsoft, Spencer suggested, allowing full access to its full selection of games for a flat monthly fee. This model contrasts with other game streaming services such as Google Stadia, which follows more of an “à la carte” model.
Spencer continued his remarks by stating that Xbox Game Pass’s cloud gaming regions will expand, with the service set to be introduced “later this year” in Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Japan. . To further increase the reach of xCloud, a cheaper monthly subscription fee may be offered in some regions. “Almost every new category of cloud-connected device” will soon have access to the Game Pass library, according to Spencer.
After acquiring several new development studios to increase its games stable, Microsoft is also rethinking the pace at which it will release new versions. “We want to get to a point where a new game is released every quarter,” revealed Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios. Highlighting the importance of physical game console sales, Xbox CFO Tim Stuart added, “The growing importance of content and service revenue makes our business more consistent on an ongoing basis. He concluded: “As we move towards a holistic, device-independent gaming experience, we can begin to see long-term engagement as the true North Star of our business, as opposed to running events. punctual “.
Spencer, Booty and Stuart made the comments during an hour-long press briefing, touting their company’s recent successes and hinting at things to come. While dates have yet to be confirmed for the app or streaming stick’s release, the timing of this announcement is undoubtedly tied to this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) schedule. The 26th of its kind, E3 2021 will be completely virtual, free and open to all, broadcast live from Los Angeles from June 12 to 15.
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Source: Ars Technica
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