The TV streaming wars aren’t just about TV.
Microsoft’s Xbox will bring cloud gaming to Samsung 2022 smart TVs from June 30 – in a bid to bring video gaming to a wider audience, who won’t have to rely on a console – and earn a slice in the battle to attract consumers’ attention to the connected TV screen. The company expects the Xbox app on Samsung Gaming Hub to be available in 27 countries.
“We’re bringing the Xbox app to Samsung smart TVs first, and our intention is to explore other TV partnerships as part of the next evolution of our vision,” said Ashley McKissick, vice president of the company, gaming experiences and platforms for Xbox, in a statement. statement.
Announced ahead of CES 2022, Samsung Gaming Hub includes partnerships with game streaming services including Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Utomik.
Samsung TV users will be able to use the app to access hundreds of games from the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate library, though they must be members, and play Epic Games’ “Fortnite” without a subscription. Users will need to create an account with Microsoft and can tap on Bluetooth to connect their favorite controller.
The move comes as more young consumers see gaming as a major activity or interest, in some cases considering it as important as TV shows or movies. A study by Deloitte last year found that 26% of Gen Z consumers chose video games as their main entertainment activity, while 87% of those in this category said they played video games daily or weekly. Only 10% said watching TV or movies was their favorite entertainment pastime. For all other age groups, watching TV or movies remains the top choice, including among Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.
“We’re building a platform that can reach billions of gamers – whether it’s console, whether it’s PC, whether it’s via Xbox cloud streaming – where gamers on any device they want to play on should be able to find the content they want to play,” Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said in a statement.
Separately, earlier this year, Microsoft made a $69 billion bid for gaming giant Activision Blizzard, a blockbuster acquisition that is expected to close by mid-2023.