Last Week

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

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.

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?

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button