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Microsoft bets on cloud gaming service, ‘death’ for Xbox?

Microsoft said it will launch an Xbox app for Smart TVs, allowing users to play Xbox games without owning a separate hardware device.

Accordingly, the US technology giant will bring this application to Samsung’s 2022 Smart TV models first, and then expand to other manufacturers. This is considered a bold bet by Microsoft in the context that Xbox hardware revenue has increased by 92% in the last year. The company also said that the application will launch from June 30 to here, in 27 countries.

The move shows that the Windows operating system maker is focusing on making revenue from gaming content and services, instead of competing in the gaming console sector, which has been lagging behind Nintendo and Sony. Microsoft’s biggest achievement in gaming so far this year is the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a popular game developer, for $ 68.7 billion.

Video games are Microsoft’s fourth-largest major product category. The company is looking to get more users to sign up for its Game Pass service, which costs $10 a month and includes the option for players to play on PC or to stream via the cloud.

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Microsoft says it will launch Xbox app for Smart TV

Meanwhile, the company’s hardware business also recorded positive signs from 2020, after the launch of Xbox Series X and S game consoles, and users spent more time playing games due to distance. because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, component shortages and factory closures in China have reduced Microsoft’s ability to produce new game consoles.

“The company has captured global market share for two consecutive quarters, and we are also leading the market this quarter among consoles in the US, Canada, UK and Western Europe,” CEO Satya Nadella said last month. last 4.

The overall picture is not rosy, though. London-based research firm Ampere Analysis estimates Microsoft has sold 7.7 million Xbox Series S and X consoles in 2021, while Sony sold 12.5 million PlayStation 5 consoles and Nintendo sold 24.3 million consoles. Switches.

Changing mindsets, targeting users

With the Xbox app on Smart TV, gamers can still use Sony’s Bluetooth-connected DualSense controller, next to the Xbox controller.

When stepping out of the scope of gaming devices, Microsoft will target other platforms that players are using, such as mobile devices running Apple or Google operating systems.

A year ago, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox division was developing a device for streaming games in the cloud. Users will not need to connect any specialized devices to Samsung TVs to enjoy their favorite games.

“We have decided to remove the streaming device codenamed Keystone. Instead, the company will work on a new approach to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to more gamers worldwide in the future,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email to CNBC.

According to technology research company Informa Tech, Samsung is leading the Smart TV market with a 21.3% market share.

The hardware race to catch up with the graphics of the game series increasingly requires configuration, has long been a “concern” of many generations of gamers. Not every user can afford to have a dedicated gaming machine. Therefore, the shot from Microsoft could bring the race of cloud gaming services to a new stage.

Vinh Ngo

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