Microsoft plans to release a streaming device that will let people play Xbox games without a console “in the next 12 months,” VentureBeat reports. The device — which VentureBeat compared to an Amazon Fire TV or Roku — will allow customers to access the Xbox Game Pass library via Xbox Cloud Gaming, along with streaming movie and TV platforms.
VentureBeat additionally reports that Microsoft is working on a native app for Samsung smart TVs that would allow owners of those displays to access the Xbox Cloud Gaming service without having to buy the aforementioned stand-alone streaming device. That app is also set to arrive within the next year, according to VentureBeat. It would presumably work similarly to the app for Nvidia’s game-streaming service, GeForce Now, which launched on LG TVs earlier this year.
The app and streaming device are in line with Microsoft’s long-running plans to increase access to Xbox games by removing barriers to entry — in particular, the need to buy a gaming console that costs hundreds of dollars. The company announced one day ago that it had teamed up with Epic Games to make Fortnite playable in browsers via Xbox Cloud Gaming. As for Xbox streaming devices and smart TV apps, Microsoft already said during E3 2021 that it was working on those very things.
“We’re working with global TV manufacturers to embed the Game Pass experience directly into internet-connected TVs, so all you’ll need to play is a controller,” said Liz Hamren, then the corporate vice president for gaming experiences and platforms at Microsoft. “Beyond that, we’re also developing stand-alone streaming devices that you can plug into a TV or monitor, so if you have a strong internet connection you can stream your Xbox experience.”