The post console era has officially begun. While gaming consoles aren’t about to be phased out any time soon, for Xbox the plan to broaden gaming access far beyond the somewhat limited console user base is now taking shape. The company’s cloud technology has already enabled Xbox games to be played across mobile devices, but for the first time ever, Xbox is officially integrating its app into the operating system for Samsung’s 2022 smart TV lineup. The launch kicks off on June 30th across 27 countries and brings over 100 games to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers.
Once a user signs up or logs into a connected Game Pass account, all that’s needed to play on a Samsung TV is a Bluetooth-enabled controller – it doesn’t have to be an Xbox controller either, as the service will even support Sony’s DualSense.
The Ultimate tier ($14.99 monthly) is needed to play, as lower Xbox Game Pass tiers do not include access to cloud gaming. Xbox Game Pass has been rapidly growing and is now up to 25 million subscribers, although it’s unclear how many of those are opting for Ultimate. That said, Xbox did announce recently that more than 10 million people have streamed games through Xbox Cloud Gaming as part of the Ultimate subscription.
Microsoft has acknowledged that it intends to work with more global TV manufacturers as well to add its Xbox app to other TV models. It’s also been widely reported that Xbox has been working on creating a Chromecast-like dongle that it may launch in the future, providing another avenue for users to access Xbox cloud gaming even if the app is not included on their particular TV model. Ultimately, the goal is to make Xbox gaming available anywhere and to reach players on a scale simply not possible on consoles alone.
“We’re building a platform that can reach billions of players—whether it’s on console, whether it’s on PC, whether it’s through Xbox cloud streaming – where players on any device they want to play on should be able to find the content they want to play,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer said.
The launch of the Xbox app on Samsung TVs comes at a time when Microsoft just spotlighted a bevy of new content coming over the next year to Xbox Game Pass during its Xbox & Bethesda Game Showcase. The steady flow of content will be critical to retaining Game Pass users and attracting new players to the subscription. Moreover, according to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, there’s a great opportunity for Xbox to grow its audience among Samsung TV users. Less than 29% of the current Samsung TV audience owns an Xbox console (which trails other TV brands), while the percentage of current Xbox Game Pass subscribers and those likely to subscribe among Samsung TV owners is also behind owners of other TV brands. The launch of the Xbox app could go a long way towards boosting Xbox exposure to the Samsung audience.
Ready to level up your career? Check out Interpret’s Careers page for current openings and join our squad of Fun Scientists!