Microsoft is in the early stages of deploying the xCloud streaming service on mobile devices, but TVs are the next logical step. in an interview with The edgeXbox Spokesman Phil Spencer has revealed that next year we will probably see an Xbox app on smart TVs. “I think you’ll see this in the next 12 months,” Spencer said when asked to make the Xbox a TV app. “I don’t think anything would stop us from doing that.”
Spencer referred to TV streaming from Microsoft’s xCloud earlier last month, and this latest tip suggests we see similar hardware or an Xbox app for TVs in 2021. and this work would, of course, allow xCloud to be extended to TVs, browsers, and elsewhere.
Microsoft had previously worked on a lightweight Xbox streaming device back in 2016, but terminated the hardware. Microsoft has been testing the idea of streaming and TV rods since the company originally introduced it Halo 4 streaming from the cloud to Windows and Windows phones until 2013.
While Microsoft may make progress with xCloud, it certainly has no plans to abandon consoles or hardware. “I don’t think these will be the last big pieces of hardware we ship,” Spencer says. Instead, Microsoft sees a future where there is a hybrid of local hardware and cloud hardware. “When we think of xCloud, which is a version of Stadia or Luna, I think games that actually run between the cloud hybrid environment and local computing capability need to evolve,” Spencer explains. – It’s really a hybrid between the two.
Playing this hybrid could mean we’ll soon see Xbox S-Series and X-consoles access xCloud. This can allow players to quickly try out a game before fully downloading it from the Game Pass, or even stream the game demo before purchasing.
Microsoft plans to integrate xCloud into Facebook Gaming in the future, so obviously we’ll see a lot of changes in xCloud soon. We still don’t have full details of Microsoft’s plans for Xbox TV applications, but the company partnered with Samsung on xCloud earlier this year. Microsoft also plans to upgrade its server blades to more capable Xbox Series X hardware sometime in 2021.
Here you can read or listen to Nilay Patel’s full interview with Phil Spencer.