Microsoft is preparing for the future of video games directly on TV, without a console

(San Francisco) Microsoft said Thursday that it was working on software to allow Xbox game enthusiasts to play directly on their Internet-connected television, without a console, a further step towards the dematerialization of video games.

The American computer giant and other heavyweights in the sector are participating from Saturday in the annual video game show (E3 for “Electronic Entertainment Expo”), which will be held online because of the pandemic.

“As a company, Microsoft is fully in the games,” said Satya Nadella, the boss of the group, quoted in a statement.

“Three billion consumers love to gamble for entertainment, community spirit, the creative side, as well as the pleasure of accomplishment. Our ambition is to support them, wherever they play ”.

The video game market, reinforced by the health crisis and lockdowns, has exploded in recent years thanks to the mobile offer as well as the advent of cloud services, such as Luna (Amazon) and Stadia (Google), where the games are hosted on servers and not on a console or PC.

The players then only need controllers, a screen and a good internet connection.

The Xbox team is working with TV manufacturers to integrate its software that will provide access to games normally available on its consoles.

It also designs devices that will plug into any connected screen, with the same objective.

In the coming weeks, players will be able to purchase subscriptions to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Microsoft’s streaming service, through major internet browsers (Chrome, Edge and Safari).

“There is still a place for consoles and PCs, and, honestly, there always will be. But thanks to the cloud we will be able to provide a robust gaming experience to anyone connected to the Internet, ”said Phil Spencer, director of the Xbox division.

Xbox Game Pass had 18 million subscribers worldwide at the end of last year, according to figures released by the group.

Spending on video games in the United States reached nearly $ 15 billion in the first quarter of 2021, up 30% from last year over the same period, according to the NPD Group.

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