Microsoft may be planning yet another way to bring the best Xbox games to consumers, minus the need for an Xbox Series X or Series S console.
The company hinted it may launch an Xbox app for Smart TVs, joining the current Android app option, at some point in the next 12 months. This would bring Game Pass Ultimate and the fledgling xCloud streaming service into play.
When asked what was stopping the company offering Xbox as a service rather than simply a hardware platform, Spencer was unambiguous in response.
“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 told The Verge in a detailed interview.”
The question specifically referenced the possibility of a smart TV app, which would suggest Microsoft is actively working on bring the features from the xCloud streaming service to the popular TV-based operation systems and set-top boxes.
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“What we used to call a TV was a CRT that’s just throwing an image on the back of a piece of glass that I’m looking at. Now, as you said, a TV is really more of a game console stuffed behind a screen that has an app platform and a Bluetooth stack and a streaming capability. Is it really a TV anymore or is it just the form and function of the devices that we used to have around our TV, consolidated into the one big screen that I’m looking at?”
Spencer added that Microsoft is looking to bring the xCloud service to any device with a web browser, which is perhaps a nod to the forthcoming version of the platform for Apple devices. The company is hampered in its ambitions to launch on the App Store thanks to Apple’s regulations.
“If the device is capable of running a capable web browser, we’re going to be able to bring games to it, which is pretty cool,” Spencer added. “You’ll be able to bring all of your saved games and your friends and everything comes with you. It’s just Xbox on this new screen with the games.”