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Microsoft to Bring Xbox App to Samsung Smart TVs

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Microsoft Corp.

MSFT -4.46%

is rolling out a

Netflix Inc.

-like app on

Samsung

smart TVs that will allow users to play Xbox games without a console, in a push to increase subscribers of its videogame streaming service.

The move, announced Thursday, is part of an industrywide trend to put gaming on the cloud and lock in players to subscriptions. Microsoft’s subscription Game Pass service, launched in 2017, had 25 million subscribers as of January, up 39% from the year earlier. The service costs $10 a month.

Game Pass competes with Amazon.com Inc.,

Nvidia Corp.

and

Alphabet Inc.’s

Google

in providing cloud-based games via subscriptions. Others in the space include Meta Platforms Inc., which has free games on its Facebook Gaming  platform, and

Sony Group Corp.

, with some PlayStation games available for streaming.

Cloud gaming allows people to stream games using internet-connected devices, much as they stream videos on Netflix, Hulu and other platforms. Streaming games is more challenging, though, because games are interactive and require a lot more data to run smoothly.

The rise of play-to-earn videogames – in which gamers trade NFTs – offers a glimpse into how the metaverse could attract users with monetary rewards, and what pushbacks may come with it. Photo illustration: Josephine Chu

Microsoft said last year that it was working with TV makers to embed Xbox gaming services into smart TVs. At the time, Microsoft said it was building its own streaming devices for cloud gaming. On Thursday, the company said that users will only need a Bluetooth-enabled controller to use the Samsung gaming app.

The app will be available June 30 in 27 countries on Samsung’s 2022 smart TVs, Microsoft said.

The move comes as Microsoft tries to close its roughly $75 billion deal to buy game studio heavyweight

Activision Blizzard Inc.

The deal, scheduled to close by July 2023, would add the developers of popular franchises Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush to Microsoft, helping to bolster the content offered on Game Pass.

Growing its cloud-gaming business will help Microsoft diversify further into consumer-facing businesses. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer

Satya Nadella’s

broader strategy for Microsoft puts cloud computing at the center of a collection of disparate businesses, from corporate software and enterprise data storage to social media and digital advertising.

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the June 10, 2022, print edition as ‘Samsung Smart TVs To Include Xbox App.’


Microsoft Corp.

MSFT -4.46%

is rolling out a

Netflix Inc.

-like app on

Samsung

smart TVs that will allow users to play Xbox games without a console, in a push to increase subscribers of its videogame streaming service.

The move, announced Thursday, is part of an industrywide trend to put gaming on the cloud and lock in players to subscriptions. Microsoft’s subscription Game Pass service, launched in 2017, had 25 million subscribers as of January, up 39% from the year earlier. The service costs $10 a month.

Game Pass competes with Amazon.com Inc.,

Nvidia Corp.

and

Alphabet Inc.’s

Google

in providing cloud-based games via subscriptions. Others in the space include Meta Platforms Inc., which has free games on its Facebook Gaming  platform, and

Sony Group Corp.

, with some PlayStation games available for streaming.

Cloud gaming allows people to stream games using internet-connected devices, much as they stream videos on Netflix, Hulu and other platforms. Streaming games is more challenging, though, because games are interactive and require a lot more data to run smoothly.

The rise of play-to-earn videogames – in which gamers trade NFTs – offers a glimpse into how the metaverse could attract users with monetary rewards, and what pushbacks may come with it. Photo illustration: Josephine Chu

Microsoft said last year that it was working with TV makers to embed Xbox gaming services into smart TVs. At the time, Microsoft said it was building its own streaming devices for cloud gaming. On Thursday, the company said that users will only need a Bluetooth-enabled controller to use the Samsung gaming app.

The app will be available June 30 in 27 countries on Samsung’s 2022 smart TVs, Microsoft said.

The move comes as Microsoft tries to close its roughly $75 billion deal to buy game studio heavyweight

Activision Blizzard Inc.

The deal, scheduled to close by July 2023, would add the developers of popular franchises Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush to Microsoft, helping to bolster the content offered on Game Pass.

Growing its cloud-gaming business will help Microsoft diversify further into consumer-facing businesses. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer

Satya Nadella’s

broader strategy for Microsoft puts cloud computing at the center of a collection of disparate businesses, from corporate software and enterprise data storage to social media and digital advertising.

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the June 10, 2022, print edition as ‘Samsung Smart TVs To Include Xbox App.’

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