While Microsoft just launched what appears to be two fairly successful machines earlier this month, the reality is that the company has slowly been moving in a much different direction than the other two platform owners. While there’s no indication they will stop selling hardware anytime soon, they have branched out significantly in their software and streaming business with services like Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Streaming (or xCloud as some still refer to it as). In the case of the latter, it seems like Microsoft continues to have very long reaching plans.
In an interview with The Verge, Spencer was asked about where this new streaming focus was heading and was given a question of whether it was feasible that we could see a Xbox app on Smart TVs. He said that not only did he see that, he saw it happening within a year. He also went on to explain that ultimately the concept of television and dedicated hardware was in the process of changing, at least in how they are being perceived.
“I think you’re going to see that in the next 12 months. I don’t think anything is going to stop us from doing that. I thought what you said about the TV was spot on. What we used to call a TV was a CRT that’s just throwing an image on the back of a piece of glass that I’m looking at. Now, as you said, a TV is really more of a game console stuffed behind a screen that has an app platform and a Bluetooth stack and a streaming capability. Is it really a TV anymore or is it just the form and function of the devices that we used to have around our TV, consolidated into the one big screen that I’m looking at?
“I do think you’re going to see hardware change. Frankly, even on the console, we see this. One of the primary things that people do on game consoles is watch video; they watch Netflix and Disney Plus and Hulu and everything else. What it’s meant is we actually have to build out an app platform inside of a game console so that these providers can go and build their Spotify app and the different things that run. There’s real hours and hours of usage on these things, which — my N64 didn’t do that. The first Xbox didn’t do that.”
This is in line with previous statements of Xbox Cloud Gaming coming to consoles and PCs as well as a potential streaming stick of some kind. It seems Microsoft’s vision of their streaming service is a grand one, but we’ll just have to wait and see if we really can stream Xbox to our TVs by this time next year.