Last week, Samsung took an unlikely step into the summer gaming season. The electronics maker delighted those who bought a new Samsung TV this year, by announcing the upcoming launch of the Samsung Gaming Hub. During the Summer Game Fest game days, the Shacknews team has been on the move to find out what Samsung has in store for the video game user. What we saw left us in awe and with a possible vision for the future of gaming, without console hardware.
The very first thing that caught our eye when approaching the Neo QLED 8K TV was that the Samsung Gaming Hub had a prominent Xbox app. Yes, this will be another route by which players can access the various titles available through Xbox Game Pass. This includes a range of first-party titles such as Halo Infinite, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon 5, and a growing parade of third-party hits. All of these games will be streamed via the cloud, so if you have a high-speed fiber or cable connection, this app will make it work. What’s remarkable about running Xbox games through the app is that the experience is seamless. Games like Halo and Gears of War ran with low latency and 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 for just running an a la carte Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. The only accessories needed are either a controller or a keyboard and mouse with a Bluetooth connection. For the former, any Bluetooth controller will work. That even includes that old DualShock 4 you might have been dragging around collecting dust. Indeed, PlayStation accessories (as well as third-party controllers) will connect to the Samsung Gaming Hub and can be used to play all the games offered. Of course, there is a significant quality-of-life advantage for those who own Xbox consoles. Save data can be pulled from the cloud, meaning it’s possible to switch from playing on an Xbox in one room to a Samsung TV in another room and picking up a session right where you left off. Since there is a “Recently Played” feature on the Samsung TV, it shouldn’t take too long to jump right back into the game.
It’s worth noting that our time with the Samsung Gaming Hub focused entirely on the Xbox app. However, this is 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 these services will be available through an intuitive interface that displays new releases, popular hits, and other suggestions on what to try.
The only downside to the Samsung Gaming Hub is that because it’s designed specifically for newer TVs, it doesn’t do much for anyone with an older model. In fact, those who own a Samsung TV from last year won’t be able to run this new feature. Although Samsung representatives on site noted that possible support for older models has not been ruled out, it will take a lot of work and a lot of time to make it happen.
For those who own Samsung’s 2022 lineup, including the Neo QLED 8K, Neo QLED 4K, QLEDs 2 and 2022 Smart Monitor series, the wait for the Samsung Gaming Hub won’t be long. In fact, it will be available on Thursday, June 30. The console-free future is drawing closer and Samsung seems ready to embrace it.