There Is A New Way To Play Xbox Game Pass Games Today, No Console Required

Back in June, Microsoft announced a deal with Amazon to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to Fire TV devices, and today, July 8, that functionality has gone live. What this means is the Xbox experience is now available in yet another place, and people do not need to buy an Xbox console to play.

As a takeover ad on the Xbox website reminds us, anyone with an Amazon Fire TV stick can now play games from within the Game Pass catalog. Beyond a Fire TV stick, you’ll need some kind of controller. Xbox controllers are supported, of course, but a PlayStation controller works as well (here is the full list of supported controllers).

You’ll need to be a subscriber to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to get access to cloud gaming as well, and of course, you’ll want to have a fast and consistent internet connection. Microsoft recommends a wired connection for the best experience, or a 5Ghz wifi connection with 20 Mbps down.

Most games from the Game Pass catalog are available to stream over the cloud, but not all of them. You can visit the Xbox website and use the “cloud” filter to see a full list of supported games.

Xbox cloud gaming is supported in more than 25 countries around the world. You can visit the Xbox cloud gaming website and search for your home country to see if you can stream games where you live.

The rollout of Xbox cloud gaming for Fire TV devices follows the 2022 launch of Xbox cloud gaming on some Samsung smart TVs. Users also need to download the Xbox app for the Fire TV stick or Samsung smart TV.

Microsoft offers Xbox cloud gaming as an option for people who don’t own an Xbox but still want to play Xbox games. The least expensive Xbox out there is the $300 Xbox Series S, after all. The company has always said it does not expect cloud gaming to overtake or replace the traditional hardware-based model, and to that end, Microsoft is cooking up a new Xbox device now.

Microsoft itself at one point was thinking about creating its own streaming-focused Xbox device of some type, but Microsoft’s R&D teams couldn’t get its components price down low enough for it to make sense as a commercial product. So instead, Microsoft is working with companies like Amazon and Samsung to help expand Xbox’s footprint in the streaming space.

Whereas Microsoft used to spend a lot of time, money, and attention on trying to convince people to buy new Xbox hardware, that isn’t the company’s sole focus any longer. The wider goal, it seems, is to expand the Xbox ecosystem to as many people as possible, and to convince them to sign up for Game Pass.

Circana reported on Monday, July 8 that Xbox Series X|S sales are down by 13% and also remain slightly behind Xbox 360 figures after the first 43 months in market. For comparison, PS5 unit sales are up 8% over PS4’s sales over the same period of time.

More than 20 million people have already used Xbox cloud gaming, and that figure no doubt stands to grow bigger still in the months and years to come.

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