Phil Spencer hints at potential xCloud streaming sticks

Apple iOS will not have game streaming services like xCloud

Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer wants xCloud to be easily accessible. He hinted at the possibility of TV streaming sticks for the gaming service.

In an interview, Phil Spencer detailed how low-priced hardware will help xCloud games come to more homes. To be at every screen, Xbox is looking for a plug and play hardware solution that lets players stream games straight into their TV.

Spencer hints at “lower-priced hardware”

The Xbox strategy is not centered on the living room anymore with the Xbox consoles. Instead, they’re starting to follow the player everywhere they go. The crown jewel of this strategy is the Xbox Game Pass and xCloud.

In the interview, Spencer expects that cheap hardware solutions for xCloud will come soon. When that happens, he expects gamers to play their titles everywhere.

“I think you’re going to see lower-priced hardware as part of our ecosystem when you think about streaming sticks and other things that somebody might want to just go plug into their TV and go play via xCloud,” he said in the interview.

“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.”

Gaming sticks are nothing new

The idea of a gaming stick for video games is not a new thing. For years, different companies have tried a variety of solutions to solve this problem. Of course, they had varied results when they tried.

Valve tried it with the Steam Machine, a small gaming-only device that played PC games on displays. It was big and clunky, with the size of a Mac Mini. It didn’t help that the intent was ahead of its time, unable to solve performance issues.

Microsoft even tried a prototype in 2016, but they canceled the hardware. Now that there is ample technology to support such a level of gaming, everything should work better.

xCloud will handle the performance requirements of the game. With sufficient bandwidth, players can stream straight to their TVs.

Right now, xCloud works with Android devices and a good WiFi connection. Xbox is also looking towards a browser solution to go around their issues with iOS.

Phil Spencer also hinted at a potential new tier for the Xbox Game Pass. He dubs it as the “Xbox Game Pass Platinum” that will include streaming hardware.

So far, Phil Spencer confirmed that the workaround with Apple’s iOS policy is giving them headaches. He notes, however, that he feels “good about the solution that we have.”

Featured image courtesy of Xbox/Official Press Release

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