Speaking to The Verge in a lengthy interview, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer revealed that we can look forward to an Xbox app launching on smart TVs in the next 12 months. Spencer was quoted as saying, “A TV is really more of a game console stuffed behind a screen that has an app platform and a Bluetooth stack and a streaming capability. Is it really a TV anymore or is it just the form and function of the devices that we used to have around our TV, consolidated into the one big screen that I’m looking at?”
While he does not dive into details, it seems to hint that maybe in the next 12 months, gamers who don’t own a console might be able to play Xbox games through their smart TVs through a dedicated Xbox app. As it stands, Microsoft has a game streaming service in the form of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
For a monthly subscription, gamers will have access to a library of Xbox games that they can then stream to their Xbox consoles, or their smartphones or tablets. While it might not necessarily include Xbox Series X or S titles, it could be a good way for gamers who don’t have or don’t want to own a console to enjoy these titles in a new way.
However, Spencer does note that streaming doesn’t mean the end of consoles, but rather he sees it as an alternative way of enjoying games. “I just push back a little bit on — this is not exactly what you said — that when streaming comes, all the consoles go away, or all my local devices that play video games go away. I’m not quite as sold on that. I think we just have to be nimble and watching what players want.”