Xbox Planning Standalone Cloud Gaming Device
Microsoft is planning a standalone streaming device for Xbox Cloud Gaming, a la Amazon’s Fire stick or Roku’s streamer, according to GamesBeat. There are also plans for a Xbox game-streaming app for Samsung TVs. Both are targeting launches in the next 12 months and would provide access to movies & TV content as well. It’s yet another sign that Microsoft is moving on from the console wars to compete with media streaming giants like Netflix or Amazon.
Welcome to the Family
Despite attempts to beef up its lineup of console exclusives, Xbox is focused on growing its user base by any means necessary. You wanna buy a console? Great? Do you just want to play Fortnite for free through xCloud? Come on in. Maybe all the pieces aren’t fitting together perfectly yet, but Xbox is betting big on being more than just a gaming console. Microsoft wants to be synonymous with entertainment across various settings.
The big question is will this device cannibalize potential Xbox Series S/X sales. A lot of this will come down to pricing, which will likely fall between an Xbox controller and the “budget” Series S. This writer’s best guess with the limited (OK, next to none) information so far? Microsoft will price it at around $100 with a trial subscription, as well as making up costs by bundling it with peripherals.
- Xbox Cloud Gaming: $14.99/month
- Xbox Series S: $299
- Xbox Series X: $499
Microsoft will likely not market the device as a replacement for a console, but rather as an introduction or supplement to one. The quality will not match that of a legacy console, but it won’t cost what one does either. Microsoft is not guaranteed success: its infamous attempts to bring Xbox to new customers with the Kinect or by branding the Xbox One as an entertainment hub instead of a gaming console were commercial failures. But with aggressive pricing and a strong game catalog, Xbox could potentially succeed where it’s failed before.