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An Xbox TV stick could be the next big thing in gaming

by: Charlie -
More On: Xbox Game Pass

It’s safe to say that Xbox Game Pass has been nothing short of a resounding success for Microsoft. In September of this year, it was revealed that Xbox Game Pass had surpassed the 15 million subscriber count; up from 10 million by the end of April of this year.

The subscription service continues to expand with Android support launching fully midway through September this year. Plans on iOS support have been held up by Apple’s policies not being very cloud gaming-friendly. Nevertheless, according to BusinessInsider, a web app will be released to support iOS devices. 

The plan, by my own understanding, is to get as many people as possible into the Xbox ecosystem, no matter the device they play on. It’s certainly a forward-thinking strategy. Typically, what happens is console hardware sales stagnate when they get to the 100-150 million mark. Put simply, they hit a ceiling. There’s only so many home console gamers. On the other hand, there’s reportedly up to three billion gamers across other various devices. 

One such device that Xbox Game Pass is yet to make its way to is the good ol’ TV. In an interview with Stratechery, head of Xbox Phil Spencer said this on a possible Xbox TV streaming stick: 

“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. 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.”

The TV is a staple of virtually every home. Xbox Game Pass has already proven its popularity on home consoles and PC, and we’re yet to see how much of an impact Android support will have. But, TV support could prove even more of a success. Of course, that’s hypothetical, but I would think people would be more inclined to play console-quality games on a TV screen versus a smaller mobile screen. 

For now, an Xbox TV streaming stick is just hypothetical but when Phil Spencer himself is talking about it, I’d wager there’s a good chance we’ll see one such device in the future. After all, it fits perfectly into their plan of getting Xbox Game Pass onto as many devices as possible.

The Amazon Fire stick shows such a device can gain huge success so it’ll be interesting to see how a similar gaming-centric device would fair. Even hypothetically, there’s good reason for Xbox to think it could be the next big thing in gaming.