Xbox App Could Be Coming To Your TV Next Year

Xbox head Phil Spencer suggests that the next big expansion for Xbox will be a streaming app right on your smart TV.

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Microsoft has been setting its sights on expanding the definition of "Xbox" for some time, and its next step could make the platform widely available on any smart TV. Xbox head Phil Spencer said recently that Xbox will become a TV app sometime in the next 12 months.

Asked what's stopping the company from putting Xbox on TVs, Spencer told The Verge, "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."

Spencer didn't speak specifically about the functionality of an Xbox TV app, but the question was in the context of streaming games, which Microsoft has already started with its xCloud technology on mobile devices. The Xbox TV app would presumably use the same basic tech, scaled for use on TVs. Spencer went on to say the tech would have to work well if, for example, his kids wanted to play the same game on multiple TVs.

And while Spencer did acknowledge that this would lead to a big hardware change, he pushed back on the idea that streaming would herald the end of home consoles.

"I just push back a little bit on--this is not exactly what you said--that when streaming comes, all the consoles go away, or all my local devices that play video games go away," Spencer said. "I'm not quite as sold on that. I think we just have to be nimble and watching what players want."

Currently the streaming option is available as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which also offers a subscription of downloadable games on PC and Xbox consoles. Game streaming is only available on Android devices for the time being, but Microsoft is reportedly looking into a browser app solution to run it on iOS devices.

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