Microsoft launches Xbox Cloud Gaming service for TV

A player is playing Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 football title on an Xbox console.

Sezgin Pancar | Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Microsoft is developing dedicated streaming hardware that people can connect to their TVs to use its Netflix-like cloud gaming service.

The company is betting that the future of video games will be a subscription model where people pay a certain amount of money each month for access to a plethora of titles.

Its Xbox Game Pass service does just that, providing access to a library of games developed both in-house and by third-party studios.

These are mostly digital downloads, but last year streaming was added with the public release of Xbox Cloud Gaming by Microsoft. The functionality is much like a “Netflix for games”, allowing gamers to play games hosted on remote servers and then streamed to users over the Internet.

A number of other companies have launched similar game streaming services, including Google with Stadia and Amazon with Luna.

Now Microsoft is aiming to expand its cloud gaming product to other platforms. It started rolling out Xbox Cloud Gaming for some users through a web browser on iPhones, iPads, and PCs in April (Microsoft was unable to launch a suitable mobile app for cloud gaming on Apple devices due to a dispute on App Store Policies). And on Thursday, the company said it wants to expand the service to televisions as well.

One of the ways it plans to do this is by partnering with manufacturers to add cloud gaming to smart TVs. But Microsoft is also developing streaming devices that users can plug into their TVs or computer monitors to stream games from the cloud. The company didn’t say what these devices might look like, although it is reminiscent of Amazon’s Fire TV and Google’s Chromecast dongles, both of which now support cloud gaming.

In addition, Microsoft says it is working with mobile carriers like Telstra in Australia to offer new Xbox subscription models. It is also expanding cloud gaming to four new countries – Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Japan – later this year, and aims to publicly launch the browser-based version of the software to all members of its Xbox Game subscription. Ultimate Pass $ 15 per month. in the next weeks.

Microsoft has announced plans to add cloud gaming to its new Xbox Series X console, which launched last November to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 5. Over the next few weeks, the company will also be upgrading the servers that power its cloud gaming service from its old Xbox. Hardware for the Xbox Series X.

Microsoft competes aggressively with Sony when it comes to games. But it adopts a different strategy from that of its Japanese counterpart. While Sony is known for its blockbuster exclusives that can only be played on a PlayStation console, Microsoft is focused on integrating its Xbox services across multiple platforms, including mobile and PC.

Microsoft has stepped up its investment in video games, buying iconic studio Bethesda for $ 7.5 billion as part of its largest video game-related acquisition to date.

The company is hosting a joint event with Bethesda on Sunday as part of the E3 Games Conference to showcase new games, with fans speculating they will reveal details on a highly anticipated sci-fi game called Starfield.

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