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Xbox hint at 'streaming stick' for xCloud and game pass (plug direct to TV)

cormack12

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Source: https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/23...ck-xcloud-cloud-gaming-phil-spencer-interview

Microsoft’s head of gaming and Xbox, Phil Spencer, has hinted that the company is planning TV streaming sticks for its xCloud cloud gaming service. In an interview with Stratechery, Spencer discusses the potential for additional tiers of Xbox Game Pass, which could include a free bundled TV stick to play xCloud games.

“I think you’re going to see lower priced hardware as part of our ecosystem when you think about streaming sticks and other things that somebody might want to just go plug into their TV and go play via xCloud,” says Spencer. “You could imagine us even having something that we just included in the Game Pass subscription that gave you an ability to stream xCloud games to your television and buying the controller.”

Spencer’s first public mention of Xbox streaming TV sticks implies the hardware could be ready soon, though. Microsoft has so far only bundled xCloud game streaming with its highest Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tier ($14.99 per month). There’s certainly room for additional tiers, and easier access to the service beyond just Android devices.

Microsoft partnered with Samsung earlier this year for xCloud, and it’s only a matter of time before we see the company’s game streaming service appear on Samsung TVs. 2021 could be an interesting year for xCloud, especially as Microsoft is planning to upgrade its server blades to the more capable Xbox Series X hardware. We should also start to see xCloud appear on Facebook Gaming next year.

Spencer also teases the potential for an “Xbox Game Pass Platinum” with guaranteed access to new Xbox hardware. Microsoft has been bundling Xbox subscriptions and hardware together in something called Xbox All Access,
 

oldergamer

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Interesting i like the idea of a streaming stick. Cheap way to get games on a tv. It would need to be powerful enough tho.

I also like the idea of offering new hardware to subscribers. If im paying for gamepass ultimate, just send me new hardware every few years and i will continue paying
 
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cormack12

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Interesting i like the idea of a streaming stick. Cheap way to get games on a tv. It would need to be powerful enough tho.

I also like the idea of offering new hardware to subscribers. If im paying for gamepass ultimate, just send me new hardware every few years and i will continue paying

I actually like this as well, if I could pay an extra £3 on PS+ but it guaranteed me no pre-order headache for next gen (as well as some other valueadds), I'd be interested in that. Click upgrade when the new console is announced and they just ship it to your account address. They could even incentivise it with 'get it 7 days before GA' for example.
 

reksveks

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I actually like this as well, if I could pay an extra £3 on PS+ but it guaranteed me no pre-order headache for next gen (as well as some other valueadds), I'd be interested in that. Click upgrade when the new console is announced and they just ship it to your account address. They could even incentivise it with 'get it 7 days before GA' for example.

That's my hope for Xbox All Access honestly but I can't get that in the UK or at least that was the case when I last checked.
 

oldergamer

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Ok, we know how much gaf hates streaming, so I expect this thread to get ugly...
Lol well anything xbox regardless if its streaming.
if its just an add on like it is currently, and works well i think it has value. I dont think any streaming is worth it as a lone feature like stadia, but bundled with other features is ok.
 

SCB3

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The surprising news from this is that those Server Blades are still using Xbox One X hardware, it would've made more sense to use Series X hardware from the off right?
 

cormack12

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The surprising news from this is that those Server Blades are still using Xbox One X hardware, it would've made more sense to use Series X hardware from the off right?

For compatibility I believe, eventually they will be replaced.
 

SCB3

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That's my hope for Xbox All Access honestly but I can't get that in the UK or at least that was the case when I last checked.

You could, but you had to have the One X for 12 Payments first, you cannot even sign up for a new All Access account atm
 

wolffy71

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Interesting i like the idea of a streaming stick. Cheap way to get games on a tv. It would need to be powerful enough tho.

I also like the idea of offering new hardware to subscribers. If im paying for gamepass ultimate, just send me new hardware every few years and i will continue paying
Powerful enough for what? Just the UI?
 
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oldergamer

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That's my hope for Xbox All Access honestly but I can't get that in the UK or at least that was the case when I last checked.
Im in canada and they just ecently started to offer the payment plan method. Check if things changed in the uk?
 

sandkiller

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If the Bethesda games don't come to PS4/5 then I might consider this as an option since I have a good connection.

TV Stick + Gamepass for Streaming
OR
XsS (if it looks good enough on my 4k tv) - gamepass or not...
 

Cert.in.Death

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So...like a Vita TV?

Guess they need more processing or greater signal bandwidth, otherwise why not just release an app for TVs themselves?

Hard pass.
 

reksveks

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Im in canada and they just ecently started to offer the payment plan method. Check if things changed in the uk?

Just checked, they just seemed to have run out. I would probably be a bit annoyed if I only wanted to get a console via this route.
 

LordOfChaos

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Xbox Series W, the W is for wireless

For real, kind of cool if it is an optimized stack tuned for this. The Windows network stack is not very good. Or perhaps to be more fair, 90% of networking cards use their own stack and only a few started using the new Windows built in stack, so sometimes a Chromecast Ultra or even Chromebook will do game streaming better than a Windows laptop.

I can't for the life of me get Stadia not to just give up and tell me my network is too instable to play it, I have a bunch of Eeros and pass the stadia speed test, every jitter and loss test on a laptop.
 
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diffusionx

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So...like a Vita TV?

Guess they need more processing or greater signal bandwidth, otherwise why not just release an app for TVs themselves?

Hard pass.

They could and probably will release apps for TVs and other services like Roku. Probably not FireTV at this point because of Luna.

There is no way they are going to keep xCloud to Android and their own proprietary streaming hardware.
 
D

Deleted member 775630

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Would also be great if you could use that stick on your local network, to stream from your console to a different TV where the stick is plugged in
 

reksveks

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So...like a Vita TV?

Guess they need more processing or greater signal bandwidth, otherwise why not just release an app for TVs themselves?

Hard pass.

They might do both, the one benefit of the stick could be that you could probably do some relatively light ML techniques to upscale the incoming stream just like the nvidia shield tv pro.
 

Cert.in.Death

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They could and probably will release apps for TVs and other services like Roku. Probably not FireTV at this point because of Luna.

There is no way they are going to keep xCloud to Android and their own proprietary streaming hardware.
Stadia and Luna might be willing to buy up exclusivity for certain product lines, so it’s up to MS to counter, either through legal means or matching. Knowing how infantile streaming as a service is, I think Ms wants to eat up the oxygen more than they care for it to become their primary offering.
 

-Arcadia-

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If it also ran other media apps like Prime and Disney+, as well as Xbox, the thing could become a seriously popular streaming stick.

I think the key is not to get greedy on the included controller, like Google did, and sell it for $100 which diminishes the entire point and approachability. Honestly, take a bath on the controller, if possible, and sell the whole thing for $50 or so, or even a free option with a locked-in sub to GamePass.
 

lock2k

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I wanna take a ride on your disco stick...
 

Ozrimandias

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Opinions aside, it's remarkable the work that Xbox is doing to raise the attention on it's products.
Sony on the other side............
 
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Nikana

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They have been chasing this product forever. They had one planned during the 360 days but cancelled, smartly so if you ask me, due to it not really making sense at the time.

With Xcloud its a no brainier for them to try it at this point.
 

Agent X

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Interesting i like the idea of a streaming stick. Cheap way to get games on a tv. It would need to be powerful enough tho.

It's a good idea for Microsoft to pursue this, but I don't think they're going to make a streaming device solely for games. They'll need to offer other entertainment options like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, etc. like other streaming devices do.

Their best bet might be to get the service on other already existing streaming media devices, as diffusionx diffusionx pointed out below.

They could and probably will release apps for TVs and other services like Roku. Probably not FireTV at this point because of Luna.

There is no way they are going to keep xCloud to Android and their own proprietary streaming hardware.

Amazon already allows other competing video services to coexist on Fire TV devices. There is a possibility that they could do the same for streaming game services. Amazon might try to prevent Stadia from having a presence, since that service competes much more directly with Luna, and appears to offer a lot of the same games. However, Xcloud or PlayStation Now might be allowed (at least for now) due to having brand recognition and a large number of games that won't be available on Luna.
 

The Scrivener

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I bet this has something to do with Steam on Xbox. You know, cuz Steam had something to do with that and so it's a logical conclusion. Steam on Xbox incoming!
 

wolywood

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Hopefully Microsoft releases an official Android TV version of Game Pass. Tried sideloading it on my Chromecast with Google TV and it consistently crashes after a few minutes.
 

MrS

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This is cool. I’d pick one up for sure. Much easier to buy this with a game pass sub and plug it into my OLED than wasting 450 on a box
 
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chilichote

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Microsoft is not interested in hardware, but in services. That's why I don't think the purchase of Zenimax will serve to bring exclusive games to the XBox, it wouldn't be profitable. The goal is to bring Gamepass to all platforms, especially the mobile ones.
 

Dnice123

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Microsoft is not interested in hardware, but in services. That's why I don't think the purchase of Zenimax will serve to bring exclusive games to the XBox, it wouldn't be profitable. The goal is to bring Gamepass to all platforms, especially the mobile ones.
They may not believe in making a profit from hardware, but they sure do like making a lot of it.
 
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danielJackson

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From playstation gamer perspective:

to me to get this magical stick of doom these things should happen:

1) stick is cheap, 10-30€, if it is just streaming device and cheap to manufacture
2) it works with DS4 or dualsense (or xbox controllers since 360) to make it cheap + xbox stick placement isnt for me
3) because streamed games are worse than real versions, it must be cheaper vs gamepass on console/pc. So maybe 1-5€/month

otherwise it is just too expensive and I rather buy one 15€ used / sale game per month than pay high price for worse version of games
 

Danteyke223

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I feel like this kinda has a big chance of failing unless consumers start chucking shit to the ISPs . at least in the USA, cause lol data caps are for suckers.
 
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