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What An Xbox TV App Could Mean For Google Stadia's Future

Microsoft's Phil Spencer teased in a recent interview with The Verge that an Xbox app that would run on smart TVs for game streaming may be in the company's future. This would presumably run alongside Xbox's cloud gaming service (formerly known as Project xCloud), which is available now. Xbox Cloud Gaming is already a major competitor for Google's streaming service, Google Stadia, but an Xbox TV app may be enough to drive Stadia into the ground.

As GameRant's Rob Dolen reported, one of Stadia's greatest advantages is that any desktop Chrome browser can stream the service's games. They can also be streamed to televisions via Google's Chromecast, as well as a handful of compatible Android devices. As such, Stadia has a bit of an edge over Xbox Cloud Gaming, which is currently only available on Android devices. A new Xbox TV streaming app would very likely eliminate that edge. Plus, Xbox Cloud Gaming would have the potential to expand further to various streaming sticks like the Amazon Fire TV stick or even a Chromecast Ultra.

If Microsoft were to reach a completely level playing field with Google in terms of streaming services, offering as much compatibility as the Stadia does right now, it would likely come down to price, Dolen added. Xbox Cloud Gaming is currently available with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which is a subscription to all games on the service for $15 a month. While Stadia Base is free, users typically pay full price for a single game, which can be around $60. A consumer who wishes only to try out a game streaming service would likely be drawn to Xbox Cloud Gaming for its lower-risk cost.

It would likely be bad news for Stadia to lose its compatibility advantage, since the Google service has otherwise received lackluster reviews from customers. Even a year after its release, Stadia's selection of games has been said to be mostly unimpressive. Plus, only Stadia's basic functionality features were included at launch despite a long list of launch feature promises. Stadia's game library has grown, but the service still lags for users without great internet, as Android Authority noted.

An Xbox TV app for Cloud Gaming is not 100% confirmed, but Spencer does believe it's in the cards, possibly within the next year. He told The Verge that Microsoft gaming could very well go beyond consoles, but it will not eliminate the need for consoles entirely, since consoles themselves have grown to serve other multimedia functions.