Microsoft is taking cloud gaming seriously and there’s no denying that the Xbox platform is miles ahead of the competition. However, the Xbox team just revealed its plans for the future and it seems that you won’t need to buy an Xbox console anymore to enjoy the Game Pass service. Microsoft is doubling down on the cloud gaming service and will make it a Netflix-style thing for your smart TVs and smartphones.
Ahead of the Xbox and Bethesda showcase on Sunday, Microsoft’s Xbox team has clarified its approach to gaming for the future. Cloud gaming plays a key role in the development of the Xbox ecosystem and Microsoft is going to build “devices” that enable more people to access the service across the world. Additionally, Game Pass will have more plans to make it more accessible for players to try.
Xbox streaming devices, smart TV apps and more incoming
The biggest takeaway from the official announcement is Microsoft working on devices to enable game streaming to more screens. “Xbox is building its own streaming devices for cloud gaming to reach gamers on any TV or monitor without the need for a console at all,” says the official press release.
That means you can expect Microsoft to come up with dongle-like devices of various shapes and sizes. We won’t be surprised if Xbox decides to sell media streaming devices running on the Xbox software that cost as much as an affordable Android streaming device. These devices could plug into your smart TV and let you enjoy gaming. Microsoft could be selling the controllers with the dongles.
Apart from this, Xbox is also working with smart TV manufacturers to “embed the Xbox experience” directly into a smart TV. Hence, you can expect your Android TV or Samsung Tizen-based smart TV to come pre-installed with the Xbox app and all you would need is an Xbox controller. This way, the Xbox service can take advantage of features like Dolby Vision, HDR10, and more.
Game Pass will get more attention in the days to come. Xbox says that it is exploring more subscription offerings so as to help people try out the service across geographies, devices and financial realities. Hence, we could expect the Game Pass service to come in cheaper plans with varying resolution outputs and more.
Representational Image: Xbox Series X
Xbox is also working with network providers on Xbox All Access plans that will offer Xbox consoles as well as Game Pass at low monthly prices. Cloud Gaming on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be coming to more countries this year, including Japan, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and more. Additionally, game streaming via web browser is coming in the next few weeks. Players can use Edge, Chrome and Safari to access their Game Pass Ultimate games from any devices.
Lastly, the Xbox Cloud Gaming service will itself see a boost in performance as Microsoft has updated the Xbox data centers across the world to the Xbox Series X standards. That means players can take advantage of features like Quick Resume, faster loading times, and improved frame rates.