Microsoft has dropped some news regarding the company’s cloud gaming and subscription strategies. It comes from a pre-recorded media briefing where Xbox head Phil Spencer, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and others talked about how well Game Pass and Azure are performing.
The executives revealed that Microsoft is working with global TV manufacturers to get Game Pass on smart televisions. This feature would allow users to play Xbox titles with just a controller and without the requirement of a console since Game Pass Ultimate subscription unlocks cloud capabilities.
“We’re working with global TV manufacturers to embed the Game Pass experience directly into internet-connected TVs, so all you’ll need to play is a controller,” says Liz Hamren, head of gaming experiences and platforms at Microsoft. However, we don’t know yet when the feature will be launching for the TVs.
Moreover, Microsoft is developing Xbox streaming stick. The presence of this hardware was also hinted last year. “We’re also developing standalone streaming devices that you can plug into a TV or monitor, so if you have a strong internet connection, you can stream your Xbox experience,” reveals Hamren. Similar to its TV app, we don’t know when the hardware will hit the market. Microsoft revealed these details in a special press briefing ahead of its E3 event later this week.
Microsoft also revealed that cloud players would see improvements in load times, framerates, and optimized games as Microsoft completes a next-gen upgrade across its data centers. These upgrades will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
Further, later this year, cloud gaming will be available through a Game Pass Ultimate subscription in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan. Microsoft will also launch cloud features on Xbox consoles, such as “try before you download,” which will let you try a game before downloading.