You no longer require an Xbox to enjoy Xbox games.
Microsoft announced on Thursday that, beginning June 30, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will be able to stream their games via the cloud using a new, dedicated app for Samsung smart TVs and monitors that will be released in 2022. You’ll be able to install the Xbox App on Samsung screens (similar to how you’d install Netflix or HBO Max) and play Xbox games without the need for an actual Xbox Series X/S console or PC. This ability to stream games via Game Pass Ultimate has been available on mobile devices for a few years, but you can now enjoy these games on a large screen. Obviously, something will be required to control the games. In the same announcement, Microsoft stated that the app will be compatible with any current wireless Xbox controller (as well as the PS5’s DualSense controller). You’ll be able to pair the controller with the TV and begin playing after launching the app and logging into your Game Pass account.
This is great news for those who want to play the latest Halo without shelling out $500 for a Series X, but it’s not a huge surprise. Microsoft confirmed a year ago that it was collaborating with smart TV manufacturers on streaming solutions. The Xbox app is not even the first of its kind, as Google Stadia app support was added to Samsung and LG TVs earlier this year. Microsoft is also said to be working on an Xbox streaming stick, which would help it achieve its lofty cloud ambitions.
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However, Xbox is clearly a much bigger gaming force than Google, and Game Pass provides subscribers with instant access to first-party games. If and when Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision clears regulatory hurdles, Samsung TV owners will be able to play any new version of Halo, Forza, Elder Scrolls, or even Call of Duty. They won’t even have to wait long because Xbox games will be available on Game Pass from the start.
Brotherly Advice: If your TV has an Ethernet port, use it. You don’t want to be bothered by WiFi lag during those marathon Halo sessions.