Microsoft is now entering the portable gaming market, but in a non-conventional way. Xbox Console Streaming is available to all Xbox Insiders in all Xbox One supported countries. But what does this mean for the everyday Xbox One console owner?
Xbox Console Streaming is currently in testing and is going to bring game streaming from your Xbox One console sitting at home. With a Bluetooth connected controller, an Android 6+ device and a solid 5 GHz home WiFi connection, users from anywhere in the world will be able to play Xbox One games, including Xbox Game Pass titles. Full list of Xbox Console Streaming requirements available here.
Microsoft enters the portable market without new hardware…
While this is is a huge undertaking, Microsoft has now entered into the portable market without any new consumer hardware. In other words, Microsoft is now in direct competition with the Nintendo Switch. The question remains: Is this going to be a threat to Nintendo?
On one hand, to play the Nintendo Switch, you have to have your separate Switch device with you. On the other hand, to play Xbox One, you’ll need and Android 6.0+ device, a controller and a reliable internet connection. Xbox streaming uses either an Android 6.0+ Phone or Tablet, devices many already have with them charged and ready to go. However, Xbox streamers will be limited to their network connection both at home, and on the go, and will need to carry around a bluetooth compatible Xbox One controller. Conversely, with games installed to the highly portable Nintendo Switch, gamers need not deal with network latency or worry about data usage charges.
Personally, I think it’s going to come down to gamer preference, game library size, and game type preference. Either way, each system has very different libraries with huge back-logs of titles available on Nintendo Switch Online and Xbox Game Pass.
Xbox is not the only one with console streaming up their sleeve. The PlayStation 5 is rumored to support console streaming as well. 2020 is going to be a VERY interesting year.