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Xbox games could come to streaming sticks as Microsoft continues to expand xCloud service

Andrew Griffin
·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Xbox games could soon be playable through just a streaming stick, according to Microsoft’s head of the console.

Phil Spencer indicated that the company’s xCloud game streaming service could eventually be pushed out onto hardware that just connects to the internet and allows players to game through small pieces of hardware.

xCloud is just one of a range of game streaming services, though far and away the most mainstream. Google has also launched its own, named Stadia, which can already be played through some of its Chromecast streaming sticks.

Xbox could offer much the same feature with updates to its Game Pass subscription service, Mr Spencer said in an interview with Stratechery.

“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 an interview highlighted by The Verge.

“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.”

Though Microsoft is launching its Xbox Series X next month, it has in recent times seemingly moved from seeing consoles as just one part of its gaming services.

Watch: Microsoft plans to bring xCloud to iOS devices

Just as important seems to be its subscription services, which offer online play as well as a library of games under the Game Pass banner. Customers can even buy one of the new Xboxes through such a subscription called Xbox All Access, paying monthly for a console as well as access to the Game Pass service.

Mr Spencer’s suggestion that one such console could actually be a streaming stick comes as Xbox has struggled against Apple to make its xCloud service available on the iPhone. Mr Spencer said in that interview that Microsoft is looking to make that work in Safari, to get around the Apple App Store rules that keep it banned from the iPhone, and that it was planning to make that available “kind of early next year”.

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