2021 aims to be the year of cloud gaming services. With Stadia already in the market and basically a year old, with the recent launch of Project xCloud and with a view to expanding to more countries in 2021 and together with Amazon Luna, which has opened its trial period in the United States and has plans to Exiting beta in 2021, the following year looks interesting in the race to conquer the Cloud gaming market, and Microsoft seems to have a surprise in store for users.
In a interview for Stratechery, Phil Spenser, head of Xbox has mentioned that the company could launch its own stick to directly play Xbox titles on the television without the need for a console.
Stick or stick format streaming players are becoming more and more popular, Roku, Amazon and Xiaomi are some manufacturers with the most popular streaming sticks in the United States, Mexico and parts of Europe, and they are a great option to convert a television on a Smart TV, or to give your Smart TV more speed and performance.
Xbox Stick, or bet on other streaming players?
In the interview, Spenser revealed that the company’s possible intention is to launch its own player, since Stadia currently works with a Chromecast, and Amazon Luna will work on the Fire TV Stick when it is available to the public. Although it is not an official function, it has also been discovered that Project xCloud can be run on devices with Android TV, so it could be done without problem in Mexico with the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick.
In 2016 Microsoft was already working on a streaming device for televisions where some Xbox games could be played, but the company canceled the development, however, that does not seem to have eliminated the idea of launching its own streaming device, perhaps only they were waiting for Project xCloud to be ready to go cross-device.
Everything indicates that Microsoft will launch its own streaming device for Project xCloud, but we cannot rule out alliances with other manufacturers, that is, it would not be crazy to think that they could partner with Roku to launch the Xbox Game Pass app on their devices, or that the app could officially reach Android TV and Fire OS.
Also, the strong relationship between Xbox and Samsung could lead to Samsung’s TVs being among the first with a native Xbox Game Pass app for Project xCloud.
Could this hurt Xbox sales?
This is a difficult answer to answer, as a streaming device could be more attractive and economical than a whole console, however, the streaming device would be ideal for those who only want to play titles from Game Pass, while players looking for other types of games will need to bet on an Xbox.
On the other hand, let us remember that Microsoft is interested in attracting more and more users to Game Pass, and doing so through an inexpensive hardware device is also an attractive option for a specific sector of the market.