I’m fairly sure cars were supposed to be flying by now, but instead we’ve managed something else that would have felt like science fiction a decade ago: playing Xbox games on your fridge. That’s right, someone has managed to get Microsoft’s xCloud service running on a Samsung smart fridge.
Instagram user Richard Mallard has managed this feat of modern engineering, sideloading the Android version of the Xbox Game Pass app onto his fridge. The app runs in portrait mode on Samsung’s smart fridge, but games appear at the correct aspect ratio alongside cheese, beers, and whatever other essentials you store in a fridge.
Keeping with the tradition of running Doom games on unusual hardware, Mallard picked Doom Eternal, a modern installment in the series. We’ve even seen Doom running inside Minecraft recently. Doom Eternal is also the first first game to arrive on Xbox Game Pass following Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax.
While xCloud running on a smart fridge is certainly amusing, it also means Microsoft’s game streaming service is available on a fridge before it’s launched on an iPad or iPhone. Apple has been blocking services like xCloud and Stadia from iOS and iPadOS, but the company did offer an olive branch recently which would mean Microsoft and others would be able to package cloud games into separate apps on the App Store.
It’s a ridiculous restriction that doesn’t exist on Android, allowing xCloud to run across a variety of handsets, tablets, and now smart fridges. Microsoft wasn’t impressed with Apple’s recent cloud gaming policy changes, and the company is now pressing ahead with a web version to bypass Apple’s restrictions. During a recent all-hands meeting at Microsoft, Xbox chief Phil Spencer revealed a “direct browser-based solution” for xCloud will be available in early 2021. He didn’t mention smart fridges, but this video shows they’re not a problem.