Xbox Gaming Skips The Console And Lands On Smart TVs

If you still haven't heard of it, Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft's premium service for Xbox and PC gamers which contains access to a rotating library of 100+ games for a single monthly fee. It's become a massive hit across the gaming landscape, racking up at least 25 million subscribers in only a few short years, according to Insider back in January. That's no small feat for a game subscription service, and it sounds like it's about to become much larger.

Microsoft has officially made its first foray into what might very well become a common practice in the future: Xbox Game Pass built directly into smart TVs, spread widely beyond the barriers posed by pricey gaming PCs and hard-to-find consoles. This will be facilitated by the company's Xbox Cloud Gaming service, which allows anyone with an Xbox Game Pass subscription to remotely stream full games over a Wi-Fi connection, given that the connection is powerful enough to sustain it. 

This service already allows Steam Deck owners to play "Halo: Infinite" with one another over the web, even against bonafide Xbox Series X owners. Coming exclusively to Samsung smart TVs at first, Xbox Game Pass may now expand to a variety of other smart TV brands, meaning that the only gaming accessory the average TV owner and Xbox Game Pass subscriber will need to invest in is an official Xbox controller. 

Only 2022 Samsung Smart TVs are supported for now

It does sound like support will be limited at first. According to Microsoft, support for Samsung Smart TVs will begin rolling out with the latest 2022 models, and it will be activated via the Samsung Gaming Hub, which was initially announced at CES 2022. The Samsung Gaming Hub is a set of software features that exist inside the newest Samsung Smart TV models to allow for ease of access to several services, including Xbox Game Pass and GeForce Now. This hub and also allows for simplified pairing of almost any Bluetooth controller, including the Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller or even the DualSense controller.

But that doesn't mean that it'll be this way forever. Microsoft directly stated in its announcement that it is bringing the Xbox App to Samsung Smart TVs first and that it intends to explore "other TV partnerships" as part of ongoing developments toward a greater proliferation of the Xbox Cloud Gaming service across many devices. Xbox Game Pass is slated to become available on all 2022 Samsung Smart TVs on June 30 in over 27 countries. Though a list of supported countries has not yet been made public, it's reasonable to assume that the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are included in that list.