Microsoft’s Xbox platform is a service that reaches nearly all endpoints across the Internet. You have a box that sits in your entertainment center but the platform is also on iOS, Android, and the web.
Of course, you might be thinking that “But I can’t play xCloud on iOS” and you would be correct. As of today, you cannot access the service although that hurdle will likely be overcome next year but even without xCloud on iOS, you can still access your Xbox ecosystem (friends lists, messages, clips, ect) from iOS.
The obvious missing component to the gaming equation is bringing xCloud directly to the television without the need for a console or dongle. While we don’t know all the details yet, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has stated that he believes that ‘Xbox’ apps will be on TVs within 12 months.
Considering that Phil leads the entire Xbox org, this is likely more of a fact, than a goal. And when you consider that Microsoft and Samsung already have a close partnership on the smartphone side of the market, bringing a native Xbox app to Samsung TVs seems like a logical next step.
Nearly every TV today has Internet connectivity, Bluetooth support, and enough processing power to run 4k HDR streams which means that xCloud, in theory, can run on these devices. Much like we see ‘Apple’ apps on smart TVs, I fully expect we will soon see Xbox apps in the very near future.
The interview is worth a read if you like understanding how Microsoft thinks about Xbox as a business and how to build consoles. For example, they only started mass-production of consoles in late summer, they are building more Xs than S consoles, and the demographic of those who play games on consoles is only getting older, not younger.