New Xbox hardware is a dongle to let you stream games to your TV

Want Xbox Game Pass but don’t want Xbox? Microsoft has what you need (photo: Microsoft)

Microsoft wants non-console owners to play Xbox and it’s said to make a streaming stick that lets you do just that.

There have already been rumors of new Xbox hardware coming out this year, though it always seemed like something streaming-related rather than a new console.

The new claim not only corroborated this rumor, but bluntly said what it is. Namely, Microsoft is working on its own alternative to a Google Chromecast-style dongle: a USB stick that lets you play Xbox without a console.

It’s always been part of Microsoft’s strategy to get more people to play its games. Its cloud streaming efforts already allow Xbox games to be played via mobile phone, PC and the new Steam Deck. The new hardware, called “puck”, will now make it easier to play through your smart TV.

Exact details on the device are slim, but it will likely look and function the same as the Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick. All you have to do is plug it into a compatible TV and you can play any supported Xbox game as long as your broadband can keep up.

Although no such device has yet been officially announced, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has already hinted at the possibility of stream Xbox through TVs.

He even mentioned a dedicated Xbox appsomething that VentureBeat adds is also in development for Samsung TVs, making it another potential avenue for new Xbox users.

VentureBeat says the app and streaming stick are expected to release within the next 12 months. It wouldn’t be surprising if one or both were announced at the next Xbox showcase in June.

Microsoft recently discussed its Xbox Everywhere Initiativewhere he justifies his dedication to cloud streaming by saying that “on average, Xbox Game Pass players who use the cloud discover and play almost twice as many games as Xbox Game Pass members who don’t play on the cloud”.

Microsoft has already made it possible to play Fortnite on iPhone again by doing it through a web browser. The battle royale was banned from Apple and Google Play storefronts for violating their policies and never officially returned to Apple.

However, cloud streaming is unlikely to completely replace consoles anytime soon, as there is still money to be made. console sales and performance on a dedicated home device will always be better and more reliable than through the cloud.

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