The largest roadblock between players and Microsoft’s famous Xbox Cloud Gaming service might be removed shortly. According to reports, the business will introduce a streaming stick, perhaps resembling an Amazon Fire Stick or a Roku-like Puck, that will eliminate the requirement to purchase a console, a barrier to entry that has been particularly difficult to overcome given the continuing chip supply constraints.

The little gadget, similar to a Roku stick, would slot into your TV’s HDMI port and allow you access to the Xbox Cloud Gaming service, which contains hundreds of games, as well as TV series, movies, and other material through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Samsung TVs will not require any additional hardware since the firm is collaborating with Microsoft to develop a game-streaming software that will be incorporated right into the sets—similar to TCL’s Roku TVs.

I’m not holding my breath. Xbox CEO Phil Spencer stated in November 2020 that an Xbox app will be available on TVs in 12 months and that he doesn’t believe “anything” will prevent them from achieving it. Last June, the firm announced plans to release an app and a streaming stick “soon.” It’s been over a year and no such items have been seen.

In any event, Microsoft’s drive to make Xbox accessible to everyone continues. At that point, the corporation is said to have begun an “Xbox Everywhere” project, which began with the addition of Fortnite to Xbox Cloud Gaming, allowing gamers to play the game on iPhones, Android smartphones, and Windows PCs via a web browser.

Allowing players to play a large library of Xbox games without owning a system might offer Microsoft an advantage against Sony, especially at a time when demand for consoles outnumbers supply. Customers could play hundreds of Xbox Game Pass titles using a streaming stick, avoiding the headache of locating an available system and then paying for pricey gear.

It remains to be seen whether this streaming stick will persuade buyers to forego purchasing an Xbox system. The accessory must be reasonably priced and provide an engaging gameplay experience that is compatible with the Xbox Series X and Series S. I’m particularly curious as to what resolution and frame rates the streaming stick will allow. By default, Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) runs at 1080p at 60 frames per second.

Competitive gamers who require minimal latency may not be interested in cloud gaming on a streaming stick or straight from an app, and it will not be a realistic alternative for individuals with a weak connection. If correctly executed, though, this may be a popular choice among casual gamers who can’t justify paying up to $500 on a console—or anybody bored of waiting for supply hell to stop.