Xbox could introduce a new Fire TV-like streaming stick for its cloud gaming service, according to head of Xbox Phil Spencer.
In an interview with Stratechery, Spencer said that the team have discussed additional new Xbox Game Pass tiers, and that subscribers would get a free bundled TV stick as part of the deal which could play xCloud games.
Spencer said: “I think you’re going to see lower-priced hardware as part of our ecosystem when you think about streaming sticks and other things that somebody might want to just go plug into their TV and go play via xCloud.”
Spencer went on to add: “You could imagine us even having something that we just included in the Game Pass subscription that gave you an ability to stream xCloud games to your TV and buying the controller.”
Currently, Xbox users can subscribe to either Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the latter of which includes access to cloud gaming on Android devices. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is also included in Xbox All Access, Microsoft’s two-year finance plan that lets users pay monthly for a new console with no upfront cost.
Spencer also pondered if Xbox All Access should be pitched as ‘Xbox Game Pass Platinum’ instead.
“We did that a little bit with Xbox One last year,” he explained. “Where if you got into All Access, you were guaranteed to get front in line when the Series X came out. People didn’t know the name [of the new console] at the time, but yeah,” said Spencer.
Microsoft has been talking about an Xbox TV stick for a while now. Back in 2016, the company was geared up to release ‘Xbox TV’, which went under the codename of Project Hobart. The idea was eventually scrapped, however.
What happened to Project Hobart?
According to a report by Windows Central, the device was all but finished and was going to be shown during E3 2016. This never happened, and as we now all know, and the company teased the fist look at Project Scorpio instead, which later became the Xbox One X.
The Xbox streaming stick would have been capable of streaming your Xbox One games over your home internet, but certainly would have been ahead of its time. With xCloud now a reality, though, and streaming devices more popular than ever, it’s clear that Microsoft hasn’t dismissed the idea just yet.