The Samsung Gaming Hub Hopes To Capitalize Upon Ever-Improving Cloud Gaming Tech

Earlier this month, Samsung and Xbox announced that Xbox Cloud Gaming would join Stadia, GeForce Now and Utomik as another game streaming service offered as part of the Samsung Gaming Hub, a new update coming to all 2022 Samsung Smart TVs is available on June 30th. I had the opportunity to attend a demo to learn the ins and outs of the new hub and play Halo Infinite and Flight Simulator to get a feel for how the new gaming hub works.

Starting with this update, 2022 Samsung TV owners can access various media and gaming hubs. The Media Hub has been re-optimized from its previous iterations to focus on video apps like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon. However, the big addition to the upcoming TV update is the Gaming Hub. In this brand new section, you can access a special screen that has been specially designed for gamers – especially cloud gamers.

After pairing your controller of choice (PlayStation, Xbox, and many third-party Bluetooth controllers will work), you can access your library using Xbox Cloud (available through Game Pass Ultimate), Stadia, GeForce Now, and Utomik Cloud access titles. Additionally, Xbox Live chat will be available at launch, while other chat options may be added at launch or shortly thereafter.

At the top of the screen you’ll see the games you’ve recently played on all your cloud gaming platforms – at least the supported ones mentioned above. When I asked the Samsung team if PlayStation’s new investment in cloud streaming by consolidating its PlayStation Plus and Now services means we’ll see it on TVs, the team was excited and said they were focusing at this meeting on Xbox (it absolutely feels like a pipe dream at this point considering Sony probably wants you to buy their consoles and their TVs). Still, I love that if you have Game Pass Ultimate and entitlements through Stadia, those games from multiple services show up in the same Recently Played queue. Once you’ve selected the game you want to play, you can seamlessly switch to the service through which that game is playable.

Below this row is an “Apps and Devices” section that gives you access to physical consoles and devices connected to the TV’s HDMI ports. In this demo, I see an Xbox logo appearing, but the team tells me that if I connected a PlayStation or Switch, those logos would appear here too. Unfortunately, the games you play on your local console hardware don’t appear in the “Recently Played” row. The team tells me there are several technical hurdles to doing this, but having a Recently Played queue for all your systems connected to this TV would be the dream come true. Also on the screen are rows for recommended videos from YouTube Gaming, dedicated collections that group your cloud library into genres, and dedicated game detail pages that direct you to services where the game you want to play is available.

At the end of the demo I went into practice, played through about 10 minutes of the Halo Infinite campaign and flew over the Hudson River in New York and landed in Microsoft Flight Simulator at Newark Liberty International Airport. It’s important to note that I was playing Summer Game Fest over a hardwired connection on a private network. However, based on this use case, latency and resolution were surprisingly good. It took my brain a second to adjust to the slight input latency with Infinite, but after a minute I was grabbing enemies and taking them out with the same efficiency as on my home Xbox. Flight Simulator was of particular interest because this game uses the cloud so heavily to stream its data, even on local copies, and because it’s one of the few titles only on the new generation of first-party Xbox. The title handled admirably on the Samsung display I played on, with only minor issues surfacing in the photorealistic version of Manhattan I flew over.

I’m still not 100 percent smitten with cloud gaming – I’d much rather play a local copy of a game for better resolution and less latency – but the Samsung Gaming Hub seems to offer something, especially for the crowd that want it Buy a new TV but can’t afford or find a new console. I’m not on the hunt for a new TV just yet, but Samsung TVs will definitely give me a look thanks to the dedicated space specifically geared towards the activities I might do most on my current screens. when time is running out; and with the ever-improving game streaming technology, who knows? Maybe if I need a new TV I will continue to choose this delivery method. The Samsung Gaming Hub Hopes To Capitalize Upon Ever-Improving Cloud Gaming Tech

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