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Samsung Gaming Hub is another step closer to a future without consoles

Samsung is diving farther into gaming than ever before and the result is another step towards a console-less future.

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Last week, Samsung took an unlikely step into the summer gaming season. The electronics manufacturer had a treat for those who bought a new Samsung television this year, announcing the upcoming launch of the Samsung Gaming Hub. During Summer Game Fest's Play Days, the Shacknews team moseyed on over to check out what Samsung has in store for the video game user. What we saw left us impressed and with a possible vision of gaming's future, one without console hardware.

The very first thing that caught our eye upon approaching the Neo QLED 8K television on dispaly was that the Samsung Gaming Hub had a prominent Xbox app. Yes, this will be another avenue in which players can access the various titles available through Xbox Game Pass. This includes a range of first-party titles like Halo Infinite, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon 5, and a growing parade of third-party hits. All of these games will stream through the cloud, so if you have a high-speed fiber or cable connection, this app will put it to work. What's remarkable about running Xbox games through the app is that the experience feels seamless. Games like Halo and Gears of War ran at low latency and with a visual quality on par with the latest Xbox hardware.

In fact, for those who don't own an Xbox Series X or S, the Samsung Gaming Hub makes a compelling case to simply run with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription a la carte. The only necessary accessories are either a controller or a keyboard and mouse with a Bluetooth connection. For the former, any Bluetooth controller will function. That even includes that old DualShock 4 you might have lying around collecting dust. Indeed, PlayStation accessories (as well as third-party controllers) will connect with the Samsung Gaming Hub and can be used to play any of the games offered. Of course, there's one significant quality-of-life perk available for those who do own Xbox consoles. Save data can be pulled up from the cloud, meaning it's possible to go from playing on an Xbox in one room to a Samsung TV in another room and pick up a session where you left off. Given that there's a "Recently Played" feature on the Samsung TV, it shouldn't take too long to get right back into the game.

Samsung Gaming Hub

It should be noted that our time with the Samsung Gaming Hub centered fully around the Xbox app. However, that's not the only service that will be available. NVIDIA GeForce NOW, Google Stadia, and Utomik will also be supported through the Samsung Gaming Hub. All of those services will be available along an intuitive interface that displays new releases, popular hits, and other suggestions for what to try out.

The lone downside to the Samsung Gaming Hub is that because it's designed specifically for newer televisions, that doesn't do much for anyone who owns an older model. In fact, those who own a Samsung TV from as recently as last year won't be able to run this new feature. While the Samsung reps on-hand noted that eventual support for older models hasn't been ruled out, it will take a substantial amount of work and a long time for that to come to fruition.

For those who do own Samsung's 2022 line, including the Neo QLED 8K, Neo QLED 4K, QLEDs 2 and 2022 Smart Monitor Series, the wait for the Samsung Gaming Hub will not be a long one. In fact, it will be available on Thursday, June 30. The console-less future is drawing closer and Samsung appears to be ready to embrace it.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
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    June 13, 2022 9:00 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Samsung Gaming Hub is another step closer to a future without consoles

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      June 13, 2022 9:06 AM

      Having the hardware built into the TV will definitely make things convenient. Time has shown again and again that consumers will pick convenience first provided that the underlying product is "good enough" versus competitors. The problem this may still have is that second part. Most people just add their TV to their wireless network. Most people still have shitty wireless networks. Performance probably still won't be "good enough" to maintain what is expected from the convenient consumer.

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        June 13, 2022 10:00 AM

        Also most people aren't running SQM on their router that would provide a reliably good experience. And most dynamic SQM is still too conservative to adjust quickly enough to avoid problems with something as sensitive to latency as this.

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          June 13, 2022 10:34 AM

          What is SQM?

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            June 13, 2022 10:38 AM

            Smart Queue Managment, in short a way for home users to prioritize latency on a limited consumer connection to the internet that does not otherwise support QoS end to end.

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        June 13, 2022 12:51 PM

        I could see a segment of the market where this kind of streamed gaming service get bundled with like Comcast or AT&T, etc. If the fee is bundled with the ISP service, I could see the segment of the market that's more price conscious, or funds limited, would accept a slightly less than ideal experience if it's easy and doesn't bulk up the bill by much. But, it 100% has to stay as an all-you-can eat model. This is where Stadia just had no clue about how to appeal to the market. Buying a game and then paying for the service to play your owned game was just bad for the customer. So far, MS understands this with how it's managing Game Pass Ultimate.

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          June 13, 2022 1:02 PM

          I completely agree. It’s part and parcel to convenience being the highest factor, and its part of why Apple Music seeks to get bundled in with Verizon for a longer free term than the default trial. But it seems like when these game streaming services fail, they do so relatively spectacularly. This really does require very very low latency and almost no jitter. In other words as soon as Jimmy upstairs starts his twitch stream, bye bye Stadia stream (at any quality). If we reach a point where the lowest common denominator router and Wi-Fi radio reaches sufficient quality (and people are smart enough on coverage) this may be a non-issue. Trouble is I don’t see that changing any time soon.

          Just the other week I was needed for some home networking support for a programmer who was having poor VPN performance. We were testing an analytics platform and I could see he was having some phenomenal jitter. Turns out he was using a Wi-Fi extender that was part of his xfinity package. It was awful. Even if you have low jitter, modern mesh systems users might be attracted to will offer significant trade offs on latency, even if jitter remains low. This might not be noticeable to a user at first, but they might be frustrated with the game and not really know why. Still makes a poor impression, just takes a little longer.

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      June 13, 2022 3:32 PM

      I had a Sony TV literally like 7 years ago that you could pair a PS3 controller to and stream games - the same stuff you access via PS Now.

      Why is this newsworthy?

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