Xbox Is Making Streaming Hardware, Already Working on Next Consoles

Ahead of E3 Microsoft and Xbox are putting a heavy emphasis on cloud gaming and its Game Pass subscription program alongside its existing console ecosystem. This includes new, dedicated streaming hardware for any TV or monitor. It is also updating its cloud datacenters to use the Xbox Series X, so that gamers who stream are getting the company’s most powerful hardware.

Xbox’s announcement comes ahead of Xbox’s joint E3 games showcase this Sunday with its recent acquisition, Bethesda, and also comes with a slew of new attempts to push Xbox onto just about any device you might already have. The Xbox division is moving to get its software embedded into internet-connected TVs, which would require no additional hardware other than a controller to play cloud games.

Additionally, the company is looking into new subscription offerings for Game Pass. (though it didn’t get into specifics), and is looking into new purchase options for Xbox All Access, which lets people buy the console and Game Pass for a monthly fee, rather than paying up front. (This is similar to how many pay for smartphones in the U.S.).

Building its own streaming devices, however, is a bigger push to make Xbox an ecosystem outside of consoles and even moves Xbox into competition, to a degree, with Chromecast, Roku and Apple TV for the living room. (Chromecast is scheduled to get Google Stadia support later this month).

Still, the company sees its consoles, the Xbox Series X and Series S, as its top-notch offering, even while it expands in mobile, on PC and in streaming. In fact, that’s the other major piece of hardware Xbox is working on: the next console.

(Image credit: Xbox)

“Cloud is key to our hardware and Game Pass roadmaps, but no one should think we’re slowing down on our core console engineering. In fact, we’re accelerating it,” said Liz Hamren, corporate vice president of gaming experiences and platforms. 

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