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Xbox streaming is coming to TVs and streaming devices, alongside new consoles

Xbox leadership spoke at length about the future of Game Pass and Xbox consoles in a panel ahead of E3 2021

Xbox Series X controller Image: Microsoft
Chris Plante co-founded Polygon in 2012 and is now editor-in-chief. He co-hosts The Besties, is a board member of the Frida Cinema, and created NYU’s first games journalism course.

Xbox Series X won’t be Microsoft's final traditional console. Xbox corporate VP of gaming experiences and platforms Liz Hamren revealed Thursday that the company is hard at work on both the next round of traditional gaming hardware and stand-alone streaming devices.

“Cloud is key to our hardware and Game Pass roadmaps,” said Hamren in Microsoft's pre-recorded E3 2021 panel. “But no one should think we’re slowing down on our core console engineering. In fact, we’re accelerating it. We’re already hard at work on new hardware and platforms, some of which won’t come to light for years. [...] We’re working with global TV manufacturers to embed the Game Pass experience directly into internet-connected TVs, so all you’ll need to play is a controller. Beyond that, we’re also developing stand-alone streaming devices that you can plug into a TV or monitor, so if you have a strong internet connection you can stream your Xbox experience.”

Xbox leadership took a moment ahead of E3 2021 to talk about everything but their upcoming video games. The hour-long presentation, titled “What’s Next for Gaming,” featured a parade of Microsoft and Xbox executives detailing their initiatives involving accessibility, diversity, and policing online toxicity. Much of the panel was recapping old information and strategy.

Alongside the news of new hardware, the presentation revealed Game Pass will be available on iPhone and web browsers to all Game Pass Ultimate subscribers in the coming weeks, affirming Microsoft’s two-pronged approach with hardware and cloud gaming.