Microsoft is gearing up to offer its Xbox Game Pass subscription service through more than just its dedicated game consoles. At a press briefing ahead of the E3 gaming conference, the company shared that it’s working with smart TV makers to include an Xbox app. Beyond that, Microsoft also shared that it’s working on its own dedicated streaming stick as another way to leverage the service without needing a full-on console.
The company’s Xbox Game Pass service offers subscribers a selection of games for a monthly fee and is currently available on Xbox consoles, Windows 10 PCs, and Android smartphones via Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service. It’s also set to arrive on iOS and via web browser in the near future.
Access via smart TVs and the company’s own streaming device would also leverage the xCloud platform, where the game itself runs on more powerful hardware in a remote location and the video and audio data are streamed to the user’s device.
Microsoft hasn’t shared specifics just yet about which smart TV makers are involved in its expansion plans, and we also don’t know exactly when its streaming stick could launch, or how much it would cost. It’s also unclear whether such a device would be dedicated solely to Xbox Game Pass, or flexible enough to offer traditional streaming services like Netflix or HBO Max.
And if the latter is the case, it begs the question what streaming software platform the company would utilize. Aside from using its own operating system, the company could potentially use, say, Android TV since the Game Pass service already runs on Android devices. That’s pure speculation at this point, but we’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on Microsoft’s ambitious efforts to expand Xbox gaming to more devices