Get ready to play Xbox cloud games right on your TV
Microsoft is making a massive effort to put the Xbox in the hands of as many people as possible, as it just announced the arrival of an Xbox streaming stick.
This new device will plug directly into your TV just like a Chromecast would for TV content. But instead of TV content, the streaming stick gives you access to cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. It’s a new way to attract people who might want to enjoy the benefits of playing Xbox games on a bigger screen but without having to buy a new console. Which is especially important because finding an Xbox Series X right now isn’t exactly easy.
It can even work in several ways. Maybe a gaming family only has one Xbox console at home and it’s already in use. Anyone else could just plug the streaming stick into another TV at home and get a similar gaming experience. Everybody wins.
Xbox Streaming Stick is just a new way to play
If you thought the streaming stick was cool, Microsoft has more good news for you. As the streaming stick is just a new way to play Xbox games on the TV via the cloud.
According to Xbox, it’s also in talks with TV makers to bring an Xbox Game Pass app to TVs. It would be an app that could be directly downloaded to smart TVs and would allow access to the cloud gaming feature.
Earlier this morning, Microsoft also revealed that it was expanding Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming to a few more countries. And that the web version of the service was coming out of closed beta in the coming weeks.
All of this seems like a good time if Microsoft pushes an even bigger expansion into homes.
The TV app will not need any additional hardware except the controller
Of course, you will need a controller to play these games. But with the TV app, this is the only hardware you will need. As Xbox says, as long as the TVs are connected to the internet and the app is installed, the controller can connect wirelessly and you can start playing.
It’s not too different from how Stadia works with Chromecast Ultra and the Stadia Controller. Although a better comparison is the next Stadia app which can be downloaded to TVs with Android TV built in.
Microsoft has not announced a release date for the TV app or the streaming stick. The company says it’s still working on them, so it might be some time before they appear.