Microsoft has announced it will be launching an Xbox TV app soon, which will allow Game Pass Ultimate subscribers to play the likes of Halo, Forza and more on their television without the need of a console or PC.
Xbox is working with “global TV manufacturers” to bring the Xbox TV app to televisions. By using the cloud-streaming technology of xCloud, users will only need a subscription, controller and internet connection (at least 10Mbps download speed) to play various games on the Game Pass service.
Game Pass via xCloud is currently only available on mobiles, tablets and consoles via the dedicated app and web browser beta. However, Microsoft has also confirmed that xCloud support is coming to Xbox consoles, which could potentially mean you’ll be able to play supported games without downloading them.
The upcoming Xbox TV app feels like the most exciting addition though, enabling gamers to start playing in their living room without the need of an additional device. Microsoft has also previously hinted (via The Verge) that it could launch an Xbox streaming stick, which would likely have the Xbox TV app preloaded. This would mean those with a TV without smart features will still be able to access Game Pass.
Microsoft also revealed that it’s improving the xCloud experience by updating its servers with Xbox Series X hardware, ensuring speedier loading times, improved frame rates and updated graphics for optimised games.
There are unfortunately no specific launch dates for the TV app and Series X server enhancements, but we reckon it won’t be a long wait.
The Trusted Take
The news of a Game Pass app for smart TVs is hardly a big surprise, but it’s still nevertheless a significant move for Xbox and the rest of the gaming industry. We already know how great value Game Pass is, but to be able to access it via your TV – without the need of a PC or console – is a huge step for the service.
This would open up a huge market for Xbox, allowing anyone with a decent internet connection to jump into a game without forking out the high up-front cost of a console or PC. We’ve already seen how successful the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus have been in recent years, so it makes a lot of sense for Xbox to follow suit.
Will xCloud make consoles redundant? Not anytime in the near future, as streaming still can’t replicate the performance of a physical console. And let’s not forget, anyone using xCloud right now is dependent on the Game Pass library. There’s a lot of fantastic games on the service, but it still has some noticeable omissions. But take nothing away from Xbox, this is a generating-defining move that will make gaming more accessible and affordable in the future.