Xbox’s latest ad tells you that you don’t need an Xbox anymore

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Xbox’s future in console gaming is unclear. With its recent publishing philosophy aiming to spread its games across multi-platform, alongside the emphasis on cloud streaming it’s pushing through Amazon and Nvidia partnerships, it’s never felt like there’s less interest in its hardware suite. The latest advert reiterates that, telling players that they don’t even need an Xbox anymore.

“No console? Don’t be scared,” the Xbox ad headline reads. It’s followed by a video parody of Scream, in which someone is asked to play Xbox. Since they don’t have a console, their only option is to play via Amazon Fire TV. While it’s a creative advert, it’s certainly a bold statement. “You don’t need an Xbox to play Xbox,” the voice of corporate marketing says.

No console required, Xbox say.

The advert marks the launch of Xbox Gaming on select Amazon Fire TV sticks. Players will be able to stream Microsoft’s library of games via a Game Pass subscription and a Bluetooth controller.

Gaming is tribal. You’re either PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo. There’s a cult-like adoration for these manufacturers and brands, and that’s been the case for generations now. Having a love and adoration for Xbox is nothing out of the ordinary, and despite the Xbox One’s woeful launch and the lack of attention that the Xbox Series X gets now, there’s never been a stronger sentiment that Xbox players have been somewhat abandoned. Players learning that the console they bought a year ago is no longer necessary is a difficult pill to swallow.

With Project Latitude looking to spread Xbox’s reach beyond PC and its own consoles, the integration of Xbox Cloud Gaming on Amazon Fire TV sticks makes sense. It’s a complex battle. When you look at generational releases for PlayStation consoles, the difference between the PS1 and the PS3, for example, you can see a phenomenal change in fidelity and experience. When you do the same between the PS3 and PS5, it’s way less impressive. Sure, things look sharper and faster, but there’s not really a paradigm shift in experience. It’s plateaued. Gaming hardware has plateaued, and Xbox’s response is to move away from it entirely.

Xbox has always been toying with Cloud Gaming as the future. It had once planned to develop the Keystone, a cloud streaming console. It now seems more likely than ever that its future is in cloud, just that it won’t have any original hardware to support it.

About the Author

Amaar Chowdhury

Amaar loves retro hardware and boring games with more words than action. So, he writes about them daily.