It’s been less than a month since the next-generation Xbox officially landed, but Microsoft is already teasing another big development for the console, saying that an Xbox streaming app could be headed to our TV screens as soon as next year.
xCloud, the company’s new streaming app, is currently being rolled out to smartphones, but it looks like a smart TV app could be following sooner than we thought.
Phil Spencer, executive VP of gaming at Microsoft, told The Verge:
I think you’re going to see that in the next 12 months…
I don’t think anything is going to stop us from doing that.
Spencer has previously said the company could look to launch affordable streaming sticks as part of its new xCloud service, allowing users to stream games directly to their TV without a full Xbox console. The company began working on a streaming device a few years ago under the codename Project Hobart, but the idea was later put on ice. Microsoft is currently working to bring xCloud online for iOS users, so it would be a natural next step to make the service available on smart TVs via a similar streaming app.
None of this means that actual Xbox consoles are on the way out. Instead, Spencer says the future of gaming could look more like a hybrid system that allows players to combine cloud streaming with local storage.
I don’t think [the new consoles] will be the last big pieces of hardware that we ship.
When we think about xCloud, which is our version of Stadia or Luna, I think what it needs to evolve to are games that actually run between a hybrid environment of the cloud and the local compute capability… it’s really a hybrid between both of these.
According to The Verge, such a system could see xCloud made available on the consoles themselves as well as other devices, allowing users to try game demos online before buying it from Game Pass.
There are plenty of details yet to be announced about xCloud, but with Microsoft also set to partner with other tech companies like Facebook and Samsung on future rollouts, it’s clear it has big plans for the new platform.
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