Microsoft has announced that it will be launching its Xbox TV app on June 30, which will allow users to play Xbox games without a game console. The company is working with Samsung to bring the new Xbox gaming experience to the manufacturer’s 2022 smart TVs. The new TV app will be launched in 27 countries. Microsoft notes that it is bringing the Xbox app to Samsung smart TVs first and plans to explore other TV partnerships in the future.
The company notes that playing Xbox games on 2022 Samsung smart TVs will give Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members instant access to more than 100 cloud-enabled games, including Xbox Game Studios titles on the same day they’re released. Fortnite can be streamed for free even if you are not a Game Pass Ultimate member.
You can start playing through the new app by opening it from the Samsung Gaming Hub and logging into your existing Microsoft account. If you’re new to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can sign up directly in the app. Next, you need to connect your Bluetooth controller, such as the Xbox Wireless Controller, Xbox Adaptive Controller, Elite Series 2 Controller, or the DualSense controller.
“We’re super excited about what this next step means for all you gamers out there,” said Ashley McKissick, the corporate vice president of Xbox gaming experiences and platforms, in a blog post. “With this rollout, we’re making it easier than ever to play games on the devices you already have. With Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and a controller, you can easily step into the world of gaming and connect with your friends and communities on Xbox.”
Microsoft notes that if you’re new to gaming, this is an easy way to start playing without buying a PC or console. Today’s launch signals Microsoft’s focus on increasing revenue through game content and services, not just through console sales.
As part of today’s announcement, Microsoft also shared that it plans to roll out later this year the ability for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to play games from the cloud that they already own or have purchased outside of the Xbox Game Pass library.
Microsoft also revealed the first details of what it is calling Project Moorcroft, a program that will bring curated demos of upcoming games to Xbox Game Pass members. Project Moorcroft will roll out next year and will begin by focusing on giving independent developers a chance to create buzz around their games. Developers who are part of the program can see how their demos are performing, while also being compensated.
It’s worth noting that time-limited trials are one of the benefits of Sony’s revamped PlayStation Plus subscription offering, which will compete directly with Microsoft’s Xbox Game pass.
The company also announced that Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) will open to players in Argentina and New Zealand. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in these two countries can now play games from the cloud on Apple and Android phones and tablets, Windows PCs, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles, and soon on Samsung smart TVs .
In addition, the company says it will continue to work with Microsoft with new updates coming to Windows 11. Microsoft is testing optimizations for games with windows, which will improve latency and unlock new features like Auto HDR and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). There will also be a new Game Pass widget that will allow players to browse and discover games from Game Pass and jump back into their recently played titles.
Microsoft is also launching exclusive new game features for the desktop version of Microsoft Edge, which is coming soon. There will be a new personalized gaming homepage with news, game guides, live streams, game highlights, tournaments, upcoming and newly released games, along with the Xbox Cloud Gaming library. The company is also going to launch efficiency mode, which will help improve gaming performance on Windows 10 and 11 to keep games running smoothly by automatically reducing browser resource usage when a PC game is launched. Microsoft notes that a new “Built-in Clarity Boost” feature makes gameplay from the cloud look clearer when playing in the Microsoft Edge browser on Windows.
Today’s announcement comes as Microsoft has spent a lot of money on Game Pass, as the company has acquired major video game publishers such as Activision Blizzard and Bethesda for $68.7 billion and $7.5 billion respectively.