Gaming platform

Samsung launches cloud gaming platform for TVs

(AP) – Video games on a television screen are nothing new. But don’t look for a nearby console, there isn’t one.

It is not even integrated behind the screen: it is cloud gaming, that is to say that all the games are streamed from a server, which has the computing power to play them.

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Samsung is adding a gaming platform to some of its TVs and monitors, which is capable of running cloud gaming apps like Utomik, Nvidia GeForce Now, Google’s Stadia, and most importantly, Xbox.

Users will need a subscription with one of these apps, a Bluetooth controller – and an internet connection of at least 20 Mbps, ruling out its use in many areas where broadband performance is too low.

But for those lucky enough to have high-speed internet, the gaming experience is meant to almost rival that of the “real” thing: the console.

“Some people couldn’t even tell (that) the experience (played) on our Samsung game hub (versus) a console game. So the experience is very, very similar and what we’re trying to do about our product itself is to open up the game to everyone so people will probably have consoles already, maybe the consoles are set up in their living room and then they have the ability to play can -being in the bedroom where they have a Samsung TV,” says Gus Grimaldi, Product Manager at European Services Business Office, Samsung.

On the Xbox app alone, over 100 games are available in 1080p resolution at 60fps, compared to the Xbox console’s 4K, 120fps experience.

On Samsung’s Smart Monitor, for example, users can simply switch from “Media” mode where they watch TV to “Game” mode, from which all games can be launched.

HDMI connected consoles will also appear in this tab.

For now, the platform is just a gateway to pre-existing cloud gaming services, but could Samsung enter the race as well?

“Maybe, you never know. We always talk to our partners. We are always innovative. We are coming up with a very innovative solution for our TV devices. We are always open to new experiences and to involving people. So maybe that could be an option,” says Grimaldi.

The Xbox app is currently only available on Samsung TVs, but it’s unclear how long this exclusive deal will last.

“For a lot of consumers, if that didn’t have Xbox and, you know, in the first period Xbox wasn’t available, you’re kind of not going to pay attention to it. Xbox is what legitimizes that says Dominic Preston, associate editor at Tech Advisor.

“The caveat to that is that from an Xbox perspective, they’re not just leaving Xbox only on Samsung TVs.”

While Samsung focuses on high quality and low latency in its gaming hub, technical limitations are inevitable, says Preston.

“So streaming just isn’t at a level yet where it can be the best that local hardware can offer. I don’t know if that could ever be the case because there will always be an element of latency,” he says.

Samsung Gaming Hub has been available since June 30 on Samsung Smart TVs and Smart Monitors released in 2022 via an update to their operating system, Tizen.

Although the South Korean brand has not yet confirmed it, rumors say that it will gradually roll it out to older models as well.

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An Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, required to play the games, costs £10.99 ($14.99) per month.