Having come a long way since 2013, the revamped Samsung Gaming Hub is bringing the hottest games to the company’s 2022 line of Smart TVs and monitors.
People see the Samsung Gaming Hub as the start of a new era in cloud gaming and it’s easy to see why. The platform allows gamers to access all of the major cloud gaming services without the need for a PC or an expensive console. And there’s been a lot of hype surrounding it because of the new Xbox integration.
Xbox Cloud Gaming is now available on the Samsung Gaming Hub facing off against services like NVIDIA GeForce NOW and Google Stadia. You'll need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ($15 a month) subscription to access the 100-plus games available on the Gaming Hub. Don’t be surprised if that number grows soon because there are over 350 titles on Game Pass Ultimate in total.
Samsung also threw in a Twitch app as part of the rollout, but it appears that you’ll only be able to watch streams. We asked the company if people can stream themselves via the app, but we haven’t heard from them yet. And surprisingly, support for Amazon Luna is in the works. Luna launched in the US back in early March; prior to that, it was invite-only. It's a streaming service with multiple themed channels that you can subscribe to. For example, there’s a Jackbox Games channel, a Ubisoft Plus channel, one for retro games, and more.
As for the supporting hardware, Samsung specifically calls out the 2022 Neo QLED 8K TVs and the Smart Monitor Series as prime examples. The company claims these displays will have a reduced lag input of around 30 percent compared to older models. A full list of supporting TVs can be found on the Gaming Hub page. Be aware that pre-2022 Smart TVs don’t support the platform and it’s unlikely they ever will.
Most controllers and headsets can be connected to the Gaming Hub via Bluetooth. We also asked Samsung which devices aren’t supported, and again, we haven’t heard from them yet.
Future of gaming
What makes cloud gaming so industry warping is the fact that it “opens the door to games you can’t play on low-powered devices.” Gamers will no longer be restricted by weak computers. Imagine a world where consoles are phased out in favor of an official app. Of course, we'll have to see what the performance is like on these smart TVs before any of us trash our consoles.
Microsoft clearly sees the potential in cloud gaming, but what about Sony? The closest thing is the new PlayStation Plus and its multiple tiers. As far as we know, Sony isn’t planning on releasing a version of its service to PCs or on third-party platforms. But the company has seen tremendous success with releasing its exclusive titles to PC. Perhaps Sony is trying to balance having some games on PC but focusing on the PS5 first; a case of having its cake and eating it too.
Be sure to check out our list of the best cloud gaming services, if you're looking for recommendations.