Microsoft Corp. has teamed up with Samsung Electronics Co. to allow Xbox aficionados to play games on their smart TVs without the need for a console.
Hundreds of cloud-enabled games tied to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership, which costs $14.99 a month without special pricing, will be available through Samsung's Gaming Hub starting June 30, much like any other streaming app on a TV.
Even if the titles aren't already in the Game Pass catalogue, Game Pass Ultimate customers will be able to play some of the games they already possess utilizing the cloud and without a download later this year. This broadens the cloud-gaming capabilities, which currently only apply to Game Pass titles and allow players to play across many devices.
"We're building a platform that can reach billions of players," said Phil Spencer, Microsoft Gaming's CEO. "Whether it's on console, PC, or through Xbox cloud streaming, we're building a platform that can reach billions of people." "It's absolutely critical to where Xbox is going."
The deal, which was revealed on Thursday, is part of Microsoft's push to grow outside the console and persuade more gamers to sign up for Game Pass, a monthly programme that helps smooth income fluctuations in an industry dominated by big-hit games. Microsoft announced in January that Game Pass has 25 million customers. Since then, Xbox hasn't updated subscriber numbers, and last month, Kotaku reported that some gaming journalists and tastemakers are considering cancelling Game Pass, at least temporarily, in order to wait for big game releases that have been postponed until next year, such as two highly anticipated upcoming games from Xbox's Bethesda Softworks studio.
According to Xbox, the number of subscribers who play on PCs has tripled since November of last year.