“You could imagine us even having something that we just included in the Game Pass subscription that gave you an ability to stream xCloud games to your television and buying the controller.”
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It’s worth pointing out that Spencer is speaking somewhat hypothetically at this point, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Microsoft leverage its streaming resources beyond high-priced consoles and smaller-screened mobile devices.
Spencer has been talking up the idea of moving beyond the traditional Xbox console ecosystem for some time, repeatedly espousing a games-first approach. “I find it completely counter to what gaming is about to […] force someone to buy my specific device on the day that I want them to go buy it, in order to partake in what gaming is about. Gaming is bigger than any one device,” he told GamesIndustry earlier this year.
Streaming sticks that play a selection of Xbox games on TVs – without the need for console hardware – would certainly fit into that philosophy.This isn’t to say Spencer is against the idea of console hardware altogether. In the same Stratechery interview, he also mooted the idea of an Xbox Game Pass Platinum tier that would guarantee access to new hardware as part of the subscription.
After a long period of testing, xCloud and Xbox Game Streaming are taking shape, letting you play Xbox games across multiple devices. xCloud is now available as part of your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and should be coming to iOS in 2021 via a browser-based solution.
If you would like some new Xbox hardware, the Series X and S are coming on November 10. Xbox Series X retails at $499 USD / £449 / $749 AUD, while Xbox Series S comes in at $299 USD / £249.99 / $499 AUD. Xbox Series X and S are currently sold out ahead of launch but, with more units promised, keep an eye on our Xbox Series preorders page – and if you want to know everything about the consoles before you nab one, we have our Xbox Series X and S guide.