Microsoft could soon remove the biggest barrier between gamers and its popular Xbox Cloud gaming service. The company will reportedly release a streaming stick — described by VentureBeat as perhaps similar to the Amazon Fire Stick or Rock Puck — that would eliminate the need to buy a console, a barrier to entry that was particularly difficult to overcome during a chip-running supply shortage.
Similar to a Rock Stick, a small device would plug into your TV’s HDMI port and give you access to Xbox Cloud Gaming, which includes hundreds of games via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, along with TV shows, movies and other media. VentureBeat downloads it those with Samsung TVs will not need any additional hardware, as the company teams up with Microsoft to create a game streaming app built directly into its kits — similar, in a way, to TCL’s Roku TVs.
As for the timeline, Jeff Grubb of VentureBeat and Tom Warren of The Verge reports that the streaming stick will be available in the next 12 months. I wouldn’t hold my breath. Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in November 2020 that we would see the Xbox app on TV in — understand this—12 months, and not to think that anything will stop us from doing so. The company doubled last June, revealing plans to launch the app and stream the stick “soon”. Almost a year has passed, and such products are not even in sight.
In any case, Microsoft is continuing its campaign to make the Xbox available to everyone. In this regard, the company allegedly launched “Xbox Everywhere”Initiative, which began with the adoption Fortnite on Xbox Cloud Gaming, giving players the ability to play it on iPhones, Android devices and Windows computers via a web browser.
Allowing players to play a huge library of Xbox games without a console could give Microsoft an edge over its main rival, Sony, especially at a time when demand for consoles exceeds supply. With a streaming stick, customers could play hundreds of Xbox Game Pass games while skipping the hassle of finding a console in stock and then paying for expensive hardware.
Whether this streaming stick will convince consumers to give up buying an Xbox console remains to be seen. The add-on will have to be competitively priced and provide a compelling gaming experience compatible with what the Xbox Series X and Series S offer. I’m particularly interested in what resolution the streaming stick will support and at what frame rate. As it stands now, Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) by default plays at 1080p at 60 fps.
Playing in the cloud on a streaming stick or directly from the app may not be of interest to competing players who need low latency, and it won’t be a viable solution for those with a bad connection. However, if properly implemented, this could be a popular option among casual players who can’t justify spending up to $ 500 on a console – or anyone who is tired of waiting for this supply hell Until the end.