18 June 2021
Ahead of its E3 event that is scheduled to happen on June 13, Microsoft made myriads of announcements around Xbox and the importance of gaming.
First up, Microsoft announced it is working with TV manufacturers to make Xbox available directly in the TVs. Microsoft said it will “embed” the Xbox experience into the “internet-connected” televisions and the users will be able to play games directly from their TVs with no extra hardware except a controller.
This is, however, not the first time that Microsoft has talked shared the idea of bringing the Xbox experience to TVs. Back in November 2020, Xbox Chief Phil Spencer in an interview revealed that an Xbox app could appear on smart TVs over the next year. Now, Microsoft is officially announcing it. However, it is still unknown exactly when this Xbox app will be available on TVs. Also, the names of the TV manufacturers are not known either. So, we can’t what are those participating TVs are.
In the raft of announcements, Microsoft also said that it is building streaming devices for cloud gaming so that the Xbox games could reach any TV or monitor without the need for a console at all. This is also something that the Chief briefed in the same interview before. But, it is good to note that Microsoft is announcing it publically. Microsoft, however, did not reveal further details on these devices, but it sounds like a Chromecast-style dongle with a plug-and-play experience.
Furthermore, Microsoft announced that it is also exploring new subscription offerings for Xbox Game Pass so that more and more users come on board and enjoy its range of immersive games across several devices. Other details related to the matter are unknown for now, however. For comparison, currently, Microsoft offers Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for £10.99 a month, Xbox Game Pass for PC for £7.99 a month, and Xbox Game Pass for the console for £7.99 a month.
Microsoft also announced that in the next few weeks, cloud gaming on a browser will open to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. It will support Edge, Chrome, and Safari browsers.
Together with these announcements, Microsoft also revealed that it will add the cloud gaming directly into the Xbox app on the PC and integrate it into the console to enable the likes of try before you download.
Microsoft also shared that it is in the final stages of updating its data centers around the world with its latest generation of hardware, the Xbox Series X. This means gamers will experience faster load times, improved frame rates, and experience Xbox Series X| S optimized games.
Apart from announcing the incoming plans and services, Microsoft also made official some of the important milestones it has achieved so far with the Xbox. Microsoft revealed that Xbox Game members play 30% more genres and play 40% more games. Revealing more granular stats, Microsoft mentions that 90% of users have said they played a game they wouldn’t have tried without Game Pass.