As a diehard PlayStation gamer since my youth, I can confidently say that watching the trajectory Microsoft has chosen to take with the Xbox ecosystem, I never expected to kind of sort of like it. Growing up, it was the Halo console – the FPS box or racing game hardware in my eyes. Truth be told, the massive, sweeping changes that the company has made to its brand have come as a direct result of those negative perceptions along with its poor sales compared to the competition (sorry, it’s true, especially in Japan!).
However, ever since Microsoft decided to stop caring about how and where you access Xbox and its titles, it’s become a more inclusive, open platform that’s quite honestly one of the best offerings on the market! Xbox Game Pass is not only crushing Sony’s subscription efforts (this next week in the U.S., PlayStation is revamping its tiers though), but it’s also competing directly with cloud gaming services like Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce NOW.
To take things yet another step forward in its “Xbox Everywhere” initiative, it’s now working on a Chromecast-style device that will allow you to stream its games over the cloud via your TV’s HDMI port. That’s right, your Chromecast with Google TV may soon have to fight for the back of your television (unless you have a swath of ports!) because in addition to cloud gaming, the dongle, first reported by Venture Beat, will also let you access movies and TV shows offered by Microsoft.
People “familiar with the plans” have reportedly stated that in the next 12 months, Xbox will be accessible via this small puck, but if you have a Samsung smart TV, you may be able to skip out on the extra hardware purchase since an Xbox-game streaming app ready within the same release window.
This move is an interesting one for sure, because while Xbox is rapidly gaining in popularity (something I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be writing – sorry, just being honest) I don’t think its content ecosystem outside of games is really in a position to compete with Google for the living room TV. Either way, it seems like the reports are reliable, and we may very well see a “Microcast” – just kidding, this thing doesn’t exactly have a name yet – come to store shelves and in TVs across the world before long.