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Microsoft is done waiting for you to come to Xbox. Instead, the company is gearing up to bring Xbox to wherever you are. This is part of the company’s Xbox Everywhere initiative, which is expanded yesterday by adding Fortnite to Xbox Cloud Gaming. While you can already stream games from the cloud to your phone and PC, Microsoft also has plans to expand access through your family room television, according to people familiar with the plans.
In the next 12 months, Microsoft plans to release an Xbox cloud-gaming streaming device. This will likely look like an Amazon First Stick or perhaps a small, Roku-like puck. And like a Roku, the Xbox streaming device will enable you to access movie and TV services in addition to a library of games through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
If you already have a Samsung smart TV, though, you can maybe skip a separate device entirely. Microsoft is working closely with its partners at Samsung to develop an Xbox game-streaming app for that company’s televisions. That, too, should debut within the next 12 months.
This move from Microsoft is hardly surprising. The company has noted repeatedly that it doesn’t really care how you get into the Xbox ecosystem. But while it has said that, it has also simultaneously poured huge resources into its dedicated Xbox consoles. This has been something of a concession that gaming hardware is still the best way to reach potential Game Pass subscribers.
But with games like Fortnite and Halo Infinite, Microsoft could appeal to an audience that is ready to try free games but not willing to make an investment in expensive consoles.