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Microsoft’s Xbox streaming stick and TV app are less than 12 months away — again

Microsoft’s Xbox streaming stick and TV app are less than 12 months away — again

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‘I don’t think anything is going to stop us from doing that,’ said Xbox head Phil Spencer, 17 months ago

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In November 2020, Microsoft gaming CEO Phil Spencer revealed you’d likely be able to stream Xbox games to your TV “in the next 12 months.” And, in June 2021, the company confirmed it would soon offer both a smart TV app and an Xbox streaming stick to make it happen.

But it’s been 11 months since “soon” and 17 months since Spencer suggested it’d be 12 months. And, now, both VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb and The Verge’s own Tom Warren are reporting that the wait isn’t over.

Grubb now says we can expect the Xbox puck “in the next 12 months,” which I will remind you is the same exact phrase Spencer uttered 17 months ago, alongside the words, “I don’t think anything is going to stop us from doing that.” (I will also remind you that Microsoft already developed a similar product last decade but canceled it before a planned E3 2016 debut.)

But both my colleague Tom — a man who does not quite understand the meaning of the word “vacation” — and Grubb have good reasons to believe Microsoft is serious this time around. They’re both namedropping a so-called “Xbox Everywhere” initiative within Microsoft, and they point to how Microsoft just made Fortnite free to play on any iPhone or Android handset or PC as a signal that the initiative has legs.

We, at The Verge, have spilled quite a bit of ink writing about how well-positioned Microsoft is with cloud gaming and how its Xbox Game Pass subscription service is the true next-gen Xbox, particularly now that it’s buying Activision Blizzard and becoming one of the biggest game companies in the world.

Cloud gaming still has a lot to prove, but when you can just slap a controller on a phone and call it a portable Xbox or load it on a machine like the Steam Deck, it’s hard not to see the potential.

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