Microsoft has just announced several updates and new releases for Xbox. The Xbox app is coming to 2022 Samsung Smart TVs and will allow users to stream Xbox Cloud Games without a console. Xbox Cloud Gaming itself is expanding to Argentina and New Zealand as well.
Windows 11 is getting updates for gaming, including optimisations for windowed games, a new HDR controller app and updates to the Controller bar. Microsoft Edge is getting a personalised gaming home page and performance enhancements for cloud gaming.
Last but not least, Xbox Game Pass members are also getting a few updates, and Xbox Design labs is introducing more options and expanding support to more countries.
Stream Xbox games without an Xbox
Later this month, Microsoft’s Xbox TV app will debut on 2022 Samsung Smart TVs, allowing owners to play Xbox games without a console. You will need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription to access the service and the 100 plus games that come with it, all streamed through the cloud using custom Xbox Series X hardware.
The app is supposed to work like any streaming service like Netflix or Prime Video. You must log in with your Xbox account and select the game you want to play. Fortnite is even available to stream for free for non-subscribers.
The app will be available on Samsun’s Gaming Hub starting June 30 in 27 countries. Microsoft is also extending some pretty great controller support, including the Xbox Wireless Controller, Xbox Adaptive Controller, Elite Series 2 Controller, or the DualSense controller. However, the streaming resolution is locked to 1080p 60FPS.
Xbox Cloud Gaming reaches two more countries
Xbox Cloud Gaming beta is opening up to players in Argentina and New Zealand, meaning players with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription can stream games straight from their phones, PCs consoles, and now Smart TVs as well. Fortnite is once again free to play and doesn’t require any subscription.
Gaming focused updates to Windows 11 and Microsoft Edge
A slew of gaming-focused updates was announced for Windows 11 and Microsoft Edge.
Optimisations for Windowed games are currently being tested in the Windows Insider Program. These optimisations are expected to significantly improve latency and enable other features like Auto HDR and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
Another feature currently in testing in the Windows Insider Program is the Controller bar. The bar includes a list of your most recently played games, shortcuts to popular game launchers, and lets players access Xbox Cloud Gaming without needing a keyboard and mouse.
Besides that, there’s a new HDR calibration app alongside a Game Pass widget allowing players to browse through games, including in Game Pass and quickly get to their recently played games.
As for Microsoft Edge, the browser is getting a personalised gaming home page with news, guides, live streams, tournament, information on upcoming or recently released games, as well as the Xbox Cloud Gaming library.
There’s a new Clarity Boost feature to make gameplay from the cloud look sharper. Efficiency Mode, another new feature, is designed to reduce browser resource usage when a PC game is launched, and then there’s a new Games menu with games like Microsoft Solitaire, Atari Asteroids, Microsoft Jewel and Edge’s default Surf game, among others.
Xbox Game Pass memberships to include external titles
The company announced its intent to allow Game Pass Ultimate members to play (from the cloud) select games they already own or have purchased outside the Game Pass library.
Project Moorcroft was also given the limelight. The program will start rolling out within this year and will focus on providing independent developers around the world to see how their demos perform and be compensated accordingly.
Xbox Design Lab gets new colours and more countries
Xbox Design Labs is now launching in 11 more countries — Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland, with Taiwan being added later this summer.
Other than that, the controller customisation service also announced four new pastel colours as well as five new Camo Top cases along with their corresponding side caps.