Xbox Game Pass & xCloud could be packaged in a TV Stick format, says Phil Spencer

Xbox lead Phil Spencer envisions additional tiers for Xbox Game Pass where one could plug a stick in their TV and access xCloud.


As Microsoft and Xbox move into the next generation of gaming, it’s not just the Xbox Series X or S that there is to be excited about. It’s also the constant expansion of Xbox Game Pass and the new xCloud game streaming service. Microsoft has poured a ton of resources into moving the Game Pass and xCloud forward, and in a recent interview, Xbox lead Phil Spencer teased the possibility of both being bundled into a TV stick to access Game Pass without a console.

This interesting tidbit was revealed by Phil Spencer in an interview posted on Stratechery on October 22, 2020. In the interview, Spencer opined on the expanding future of the xCloud program and Xbox Game Pass’s opportunities alongside it. Part of that was the consideration of additional tiers to xCloud and Game Pass, including a possible one that might be offered as a TV stick instead of asking users to get a console or other Microsoft enabled device.

Xbox Game Pass and xCloud are already fairly versatile when it comes to most mobile and PC devices. TV sticks with access to Xbox programs sounds pretty much obvious.
Xbox Game Pass and xCloud are already fairly versatile when it comes to most mobile and PC devices. TV sticks with access to Xbox programs sound pretty much obvious.

Xbox wowed a lot of folks with its Xbox All Access financing program available to Xbox Series X and S, which allowed low monthly payments on the next-gen consoles and access to Xbox Game Pass and

EA Play. With the launch of xCloud allowing players to access Microsoft’s cloud streaming service to play Xbox games on various enabled devices, such as laptops, mobile devices, and more, a TV stick making use of Microsoft’s gaming programs makes sense. It’s part of a vision Phil Spencer has to make the Xbox ecosystem ever more affordable and accessible.

“I think you’re going to see lower priced hardware as part of our ecosystem when you think about streaming sticks and other things that somebody might want to just go plug into their TV and go play via xCloud,” Spencer explained. “You could imagine us even having something that we just included in the Game Pass subscription that gave you an ability to stream xCloud games to your television and buying the controller.”

It’s all hearsay right now, but given how everything already feels built to allow it to happen, an Xbox Game Pass and xCloud TV stick makes a lot of sense. As we move towards the next generation with Xbox Series X and S’s launch date on November 10, it will remain to be seen if this wistful expansion comes to fruition.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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