Samsung occupies an important place in the mobile gaming industry. In 2021, it sold 1.43 billion smartphones, according to Statista, and each of those devices is a potential form of entertainment. But that is not the company’s only ambition in the sector and that is why they partnered with Xbox to offer xCloud on their new generation of televisions. But does the app live up to the console experience?
Xbox found in Games Pass and xCloud Gaming a gold mine. According to company figures, it currently has more than 25 million subscribers around the world, which give it the security to integrate into new platforms. Such is the case of Samsung’s Neo QLED QN90B series, where its streaming service achieves great performance, but only if the user has the ideal environment.
This new application, for now, is only available on Samsung 2022 televisions and that is its first weak point. Of course, it is a great option for those who do not want to buy a console and only hire the Game Pass Ultimate service (229 pesos per month); however, to access it you must buy the television (more than 20,000 pesos).
Although it is true that many people take the opportunity to renew their equipment and the xCloud feature can be a motivator, Fernanda López, senior marketing manager for consumer electronics at Samsung, points out that they do not see it as a factor to boost their sales. However, accept that this particular television is aimed at the gamer public.
In the physical aspect, the device does not present many differences compared to the previous model. The most relevant for the gamer public is the integration of two HDMI 2.1 ports, with which you can get the most out of the latest generation consoles in terms of image quality.
The most relevant issues are within the team, specifically in the possibility of downloading the Xbox application. To enter it, the experience is quite fluid, since its menus are quite identifiable and provide easy navigation. Like other models, it has Alexa or Google Home, so it is possible to ask these assistants to open the app with a voice command. Of course, you can not ask him for more specific tasks, such as opening your Halo game.
With a great cloud service comes a great connection
To play within this app it is necessary to have an active Game Pass Ultimate subscription, but the brand’s experts also give a series of recommendations to obtain optimal performance in terms of connectivity.
For example, they mention that your internet download speed should be 20 MB per second and if it is possible to connect the screen through a direct LAN cable to the modem it is much better.
During my test experience at the Xbox Loft in CDMX, I noticed a speed of 20 seconds to load the games in the cloud. However, when the place got full and there were many people wanting to play at the same time, the waiting time increased to about 20-30 seconds.
Therefore, it is important to have a good connection to play quickly, in addition to the fact that this also influences online multiplayer games. But once inside, the reality is that the operation of the individual games is flawless.
The screen also has Bluetooth, so it is possible to connect an Xbox, PlayStation 4 or 5 controller, as well as the Amazon Luna controller. At this point it is also relevant to say that there was no delay between the moment I pressed a button and the execution of the action, something of the utmost importance for a satisfactory gaming experience.
In case the connection is not so good, the screen has a series of settings to obtain better latency, but it sacrifices a little image quality. If your connection is very good, it is possible to apply a mode where the Artificial Intelligence of the device improves the scenes.
On the other hand, it has an updated version of its Game Bar, where users can make adjustments to enjoy their game even more. For example, it is possible to change the size of the screen or even activate the Smart Mode, with which the screen adapts to the light levels outside.
Image quality, the aspect where xCloud should improve
Samsung mentions that this television has 4K image quality, in addition to new features such as the AMD FreeSync Premium Pro processor, which offers better game synchronization so as not to have frame drops and high dynamic range in colors, but these features are not yet are taken full advantage of with xCloud.
And it is that the subscription service complies in image quality, but when compared to what the latest generation consoles offer, the performance is still a bit behind. With Forza Horizon 5, to mention one case, the landscapes of Mexico look great, but they are still not as spectacular and radiant as they are seen from an Xbox Series X.
It is worth mentioning that this is an element that is the responsibility of Microsoft and Xbox, since in reality the cloud is still in a beta phase and the same thing happens when it is used from other devices, such as cell phones or tablets.
Do I recommend buying a new generation Samsung TV if you are a gamer?
The answer has several nuances. Yes, just in case you are thinking of upgrading your equipment or your desire to play Xbox titles is great. If not, you could wait a bit for them to drop in price and in the meantime take advantage of the xCloud experience on your smartphone.