In a blog post published today, Microsoft has announced their intention to bring the Xbox ecosystem to more people by working directly with TV manufacturers to integrate the Xbox experience into internet-connect televisions, or smart TVs, if you prefer.
This would mean gamers could play a plethora of Xbox Game Pass titles without any hardware required, apart from the controller itself, of course. But that’s not all. They are also currently working on building streaming devices, which will enable players to enjoy games on any TV or monitor.
Alongside the Netflix and YouTube apps already available with most smart TVs, an Xbox Game Pass app would truly turn the living room TV into an all-in-one entertainment suite. Meanwhile, for those on the fence about purchasing a next-generation console, Xbox Game Pass suddenly becomes a much more appealing prospect since it’d be more readily available.
And, of course, this is what it’s all about. Microsoft isn’t as concerned with shifting console units this generation. They’re far more interested in getting more players into the Xbox ecosystem through services like Game Pass. This has been clear through their efforts in cloud gaming in the past few years.
A large number of people around the world can now stream Xbox games through their mobile phone and, according to the blog post, cloud gaming is set to roll out in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan later this year. Meanwhile, cloud gaming on browsers will soon become available to anyone subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Of course, the issue of requiring a decent enough internet connection for cloud gaming remains a concern for many, but Microsoft is looking towards the future with this approach. That’s likely why the option to buy a console still exists, including a more entry-level choice with the Xbox Series S.